So Much Torah Going on at Hillels of Georgia
Atlanta Jewish Times - 1/21/21
With a mission to inspire vibrant Jewish life on campus, Hillels of Georgia launched their Jewish Learning Fellowship (JLF), an eight-session experiential, conversational seminar for students looking to deepen their understanding of Judaism on their own terms.
Hillels is interested in asking the big questions — like “Who am I?” “What communities am I a part of?” and “What is worth committing myself to, and why?” And Hillel doesn’t purport to have any of the big answers and makes no claims about the “right” way to practice or not to practice Judaism. Hillel’s job is to help students explore the tradition in a safe space and find their own place, on their terms, in Judaism’s Great Conversation.
Every Jew possesses their own unique Torah–Jewish wisdom all their own–and in JLF, Hillel is committed to helping every student discover theirs.
In the age of Covid, the learning has not stopped. Hillel’s dynamic team works in creative ways to engage with fellows, holding meetings via Zoom with heavy use of break out rooms to ensure more intimate conversations and connections are possible. Hillel staff regularly checks in and follows up with fellows, often meeting for virtual coffee dates (gift cards for coffee included!). Social events around the fellowship have ranged from fun and competitive trivia nights to coming together over zoom to make cards and write letters for seniors in retirement facilities.
This winter break, Emory’s Hillel hosted a JLF intensive over four weeks for Jewish students involved in Greek Life. Over 30 students choose to spend their vacation studying Torah with the Hillel team. And for the coming semester Hillel is expecting to fill five cohorts: three initial Jewish Learning Fellowships and two fellowships for students who have already studied with Hillel, called JLF2. JLF2 met its application cap of 40 spots within the first two days of opening.
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