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How Team Hillel 818 Spent Our Summer

With all of our exciting changes at Hillel 818, it was vital for us to make good use of our summer! In addition to all of the planning, onboarding, and choosing of blue lounge chairs, our team also attended some amazing conferences. Learn more about them below!


This summer, Hillel International welcomed Cohort Zayin of the Springboard Fellowship and Hillel 818 welcomed Eliana Leish to our team! Springboard Fellows are recent college graduates who make a two-year commitment to work on student engagement and programming. This year, Hillel 818 is one of just nine locations to feature the newly launched Springboard intrapreneurship track! Intrapreneurship focuses on building kehillot (communities) within Hillel based on student interests, cultures, and needs. This year’s Springboard cohort kicked things off at NPI in St. Louis, networking with new Hillel professionals and attending professional development sessions. Hillel 818 is so excited to learn and benefit from Eliana's passion and energy, and can't wait to see what our Springboard Fellow achieves over the next 2 years!


Many of our new staff members traveled to Washington University in St. Louis, MO for Hillel International's New Professional Institute (NPI). During NPI, our staff attended position-specific meetings as well as movement-wide learning sessions. We connected with colleagues from around the country, exchanging stories and strategies, and gained a deeper understanding of our roles here at Hillel 818 and also within the greater Hillel movement. We left feeling more prepared than ever to take on the challenge of our new roles and help Hillel 818 have an incredibly successful year!


Matt, Meg (our Assistant Director of Programming and Engagement), and our new Multicultural and Interfaith Coordinator Ellen (on her very first day on the job!) traveled to New Orleans to join seven other Hillels as part of Cohort 4 of the Organizational Design Lab (ODL). Over the next two years, Hillel 818 will be learning to use the "Design Thinking" process to rethink our program and engagement strategy to better align with our student's needs, wants, and desires. At the conference, we dove deep into the design thinking process, including the cycle of "empathize", "define", "ideate", "prototype", and test. This process will be time-consuming, challenging, and ultimately transformative for Hillel 818. While we were in New Orleans we also got to bond with other Hillel staff, see some live Jazz, and of course, have some beignets from the famous Cafe Du Monde!


WHOever thought bringing together every Hillel on the West Coast would be a good idea…was right! Team Hillel 818 spent three days at the Brandeis-Bardin Institute in Simi Valley with 80+ Hillel professionals! Some of the highlights included: Jewish learning where we dove deep into what our tradition has to say about the challenges Hillel professionals face in our work and cohort sessions where we worked through the challenges of our specific positions with our counterparts from other Hillels. And where there is work, there is also play! Our team participated in a variety of WHOgim (a play on the Hebrew word Chugim, meaning electives) enjoying things like Archery, improv comedy, flower arranging, Israeli dancing (Camp Alonim style), pickle making, STEM Judaica making (facilitated by our very own Director of Operations, Ben!), and nature walks. At WHO we learned, we bonded, and we came back ready for an incredible year!

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