Hillel students just needed a strong Wi-Fi connection this year to participate in Alternative Spring Break.
With the outbreak of the coronavirus, Hillels around the world adapted their spring break programs into a three-day experience on Facebook Live. More than 11,500 students, parents and lay leaders tuned into the livestreams, hosted by Hillel International.
Jeremy Moskowitz, vice president of international growth and operations at Hillel International, said if not for the coronavirus disruption, students would have spent a week helping underprivileged communities and learning how their acts of service connect with Jewish values, such as tikkun olam, or repairing the world.
That’s why Hillels needed to bring meaningful Jewish experiences to their students, he added. Highlights from the Facebook livestreams included a tutorial on wine tasting, courtesy of Hillel France, and a song session led by Hillel Russia.
“One unintended consequence of the chaos and life changes we are all experiencing this semester is that it gave us both the tools and the time for students to connect globally, beyond the confines of their university community,” Moskowitz said.
Check out the creative ways Hillels around the world engaged students in spring break programming online:
Hillel Argentina and Hillel Rio
Culturally curious viewers learned to make Argentinian treats, such as bite-size chocolate balls known as brigadeiros and a caffeinated drink called mate. In addition, Hillel Rio gave step-by-step instructions on how to make caipirinha, the Brazilian national cocktail made from caninha, sugar and lime.
Hillel Germany, Hillel France, Hillel Krakow and Hillel Hungary
These Hillels engaged students with a tutorial on wine tasting, a tour of Jewish life in Poland as well as Hungary and a brief study session on the morning prayer “Mah Tovu.”
Hillel Russia and Hillel CASE
To welcome Shabbat, Hillel professionals kneaded dough for challah, gave a tour of the famous Red Square in Russia, recited Kiddush and sang the liturgical poem “Adon Olam.”
Story written by Shana Medel.