The past --fall semester was amazing. The energy around the building and campus has been truly infectious. I could hardly believe how fast the past semester rushed by. It felt like just yesterday we were playing Dodgeball together, dancing at Maccaball, or even enjoying Milkshakes on the Deck. It was some of the most enjoyable months of my professional career working with all of you.
The present -- 17 Illini students are currently participating in our Alternative Winter Break. This week, we have volunteered with the Daily Bread Soup Kitchen, Clark-Lindsey Retirement Home, Grace Church, Crisis Nursery, Habitat for Humanity, and Dr. Howard Elementary school. Today, we will be in Washington, Illinois providing disaster relief from the November 2013 tornadoes that swept through our state. If you'd like to learn more about this trip, please check out this coverage provided by Champaign's WCIA 3. This trip has allowed us to truly give back to the local community. As a staff leader, this has been an eye opening experience to how far a small act of kindness can go within a community.
We have an entire bus just returning from Shorashim Birthright today and I can't wait to hear their amazing experiences while traveling. As a past participant and staff leader, I know that the lives of those that have gone on this trip will truly be impacted by the experience.
The future -- "You ain't seen nothing yet" - Al Jolson, famed Jewish performer.
Really, this upcoming Spring semester is going to be amazing. Are you ready for another Dodgeball tournament? The Illini Hillel staff is. We will be bringing in and hosting some incredible programs that range the full gamut of Jewish life. In February, we will be bringing in the Director of Save a Child's Heart and hosting the B1G Ten Hillel Shabbaton. March will being another amazing Alternative Break trip and in April, we will be bringing in Joanne Caras and the Holocaust Cookbook tour as well as celebrating an amazing Israel week. This is just a sample of the events we will be having this upcoming semester, and I couldn't be happier to continue celebrating Jewish life with all of you this spring.
I hope you are all well-rested and ready for an amazing semester!