Welcome & Welcome Back!

By Sami Brandspiegel ’17


Paulee Manich '18 and Sami Brandspiegel '17

Paulee Manich ’18 and Sami Brandspiegel ’17

I remember my first weekend at Rutgers Hillel like it was yesterday, and believe me, sometimes I wish that it was still my freshmen year. For all current students, other than my fellow seniors, no one remembers or even knows the uniqueness that was 93 College Avenue. But for me it will always be the place that began my journey of being a part of Rutgers Hillel. My first weekend consisted of Shabbat Dinner in a crowded people-filled room, a fiesta style dinner at the OU-JLIC couple’s home with tons of other Hillel students, and the Welcome BBQ where Jewish students swarmed the steps and hallways of 93 College Ave. After 3 days of meeting new friends and reconnecting with old ones and eating tons of food, I was hooked.


The wave of excitement that fills the first weekend of the school year is one of the most anticipated times in every college student’s life. The freedom, independence, and readiness to jump right in and start something new should never be taken lightly. At Rutgers Hillel we give each student, no matter what year, the opportunity to become a part of the largest and greatest undergraduate Jewish population in the country. And it all begins this September 2016!


Greg Yellin, Hillel's Director of Engagement, and Sami Brandspiegel '17, at New Student Orientation

Greg Yellin, Hillel’s Director of Engagement, and Sami Brandspiegel ’17, at New Student Orientation

We’ll kick off this exciting semester with our Annual Welcome BBQ and Jewish Involvement Fair on Sunday, September 4 from 5pm-8pm on Morrell Street (College Avenue Campus). Join us for a fun filled evening with a moon bounce, free food, and don’t forget to grab your FREE never-before-seen Rutgers Hillel tank top!


Our Welcome Week festivities continue with Koach’s Ice Cream Social on Tuesday, September 6. Freshmen, mix up some mocktails on Wednesday, September 7 at our Mocktail Mixer or grab a cup of coffee and discuss Israel at the first Israel Coffee Break. Then, it’s Game Night with the Reform Community on Thursday, September 8 and give a little at our Welcome Back Blood Drive. End the first week of school the best way possible, with Shabbat Dinner on Friday, September 9 at 7:30pm, Location TBD so check back in with us on our various social media sites.


Samantha Brandspiegel '17 with Jenna Kershenbaum '18

Samantha Brandspiegel ’17 with Jenna Kershenbaum ’18

Freshmen, come hang out with the Mesorah Community on Sunday, September 11 for a night of fun activities! Keep the fun going on Tuesday, September 13 with the first ever event of Camp Hillel Sports Center, a new initiative that brings workouts and camp-type games to Hillel each week. As your second week of school continues, keep the learning and discussion going on Wednesday, September 14 at Israel Coffee Break and Koach’s Shiur & Pizza as well as on Thursday, September 15 at Mesorah’s first Student Series. Wrap up the welcome week plans with a beautiful Shabbat Dinner at Brower Commons Faculty Dining Room on Friday, September 16  at 7:30pm.


The student board members have been working extremely hard all summer to plan phenomenal activities and programs for the Hillel wide-community for Fall 2016. The first two weeks are just a glimpse into what we have in store for the semester, and beyond!! Check out the full calendar at rutgershillel.org. Join us at our weekly Monday night board meetings, 9:15pm-9:30pm for Open Forum to voice your opinions, ideas, concerns, and praises and of course save the date for Town Hall Meeting 1 on September 26.


Jaclyn Platt '18 with Sami Brandspiegel '17

Jaclyn Platt ’18 with Sami Brandspiegel ’17

This year, and semester, is truly going to be one to remember. So get excited and become a part of Rutgers Hillel. Before you know it we’ll be filling our brand new Eva and Arie Halpern Hillel House on the Wilf Family Campus at 70 College Avenue with our Ruach (spirit) and showing everyone at Rutgers University and the greater community that This is RHouse.



The Rutgers Hillel Opening BBQ is Sunday, September 4, 5-8pm on Morrell Street. For more information, go here