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Grab your tools, it's spring break

Local Hillels rebuild communities on Alternative Spring Breaks
by Shana Medel | Mar 16, 2018 |

Hillel students traded in relaxing days on the beach to help communities in need this spring break. More than 30 Hillels in the United States organized Alternative Spring Breaks, volunteering in nearby states and countries around the world. Check out how some of our students spent their week:

Penn State Hillel : Honduras

For the third consecutive year, Penn State Hillel students volunteered in Roatan, Honduras. They lugged buckets of dirt and used a cement machine to rebuild a road, creating a second point of entry for those living in the small the town of La Colonia.

Hillel of Broward and Palm Beach : Guatemala

Students at Hillel of Broward and Palm Beach packed their bags and traveled to San Juan Comalapa, Guatemala during spring break. Their weeklong service projects included constructing the teacher’s lounge at Técnico Chixot, a school for grades K-12, and bonding with its students by playing games during gym class.

Boston University Hillel : South Africa

After nearly 40 hours of travel, students from Boston University Hillel arrived in South Africa. They worked with Project TEN, an Israeli program that operates volunteer centers in developing areas, to prepare a meal for 70 children, paint a classroom and build a greenhouse.

University of Miami Hillel : Rio

Students from University of Miami Hillel helped underprivileged communities in Rio during spring break. They spent their first day repainting the sports court, which is used for community gatherings as well as a classroom for young students in the neighborhood of Vargem Pequena.

Columbia/Barnard Hillel : Poland

Alternative Spring Break participants at Columbia/Barnard Hillel spent their spring break in Poland, Hungary, Israel, Charleston or New Orleans. More than 10 students chose to explore Poland’s rich Jewish history by visiting sites such as the Warsaw Ghetto and the JCC in Warsaw.

Michigan Hillel : Houston

Clad in gloves and goggles, Michigan Hillel students volunteered in neighborhoods affected by Hurricane Harvey. They dedicated most of their time to rebuilding this family’s home in Houston.

Hillel at Virginia Tech : New Orleans

Hillel at Virginia Tech celebrated its 10th year volunteering in New Orleans for Alternative Spring Break. Students worked closely with Rebuilding Together New Orleans to refurbish the home of Betty Johnson, a New Orleans resident.

Toledo Hillel : Orlando

For the sixth consecutive year, Toledo Hillel traveled to Central Florida to volunteer at Give Kids the World, a nonprofit resort where children with life-threatening illnesses are given cost-free, weeklong vacations with their families. Students began each morning by serving food to families and helping children onto rides.

Rutgers Hillel : Puerto Rico

Rutgers Hillel students volunteered in Puerto Rico during their spring break. They cleared patches of land to plant new trees and visited synagogues to learn about Jewish life on the island.





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