Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Just a little each day...

I realized today how long it has been since I've been able to post on here...life gets busy and the little things slip away. Something I was thinking about while walking from class here to work today was how important it is, every day, to take a few seconds or if you have time, an hour or so, to be aware of your Judaism. Let me explain my thought process...

For me, interning and working at Hillel is a sure fire way for me to make sure I get a dose of Judaism in my life every few days. I'm always Jewish, but I'm not always thinking about my Judaism (if that makes sense). When I do have a chance to either read an article posted by UF Hillel or UF Israel or when I see one of my friends from Hillel on campus I am reminded. Those little moments are so important to me because it keeps reminding me of who I am, where I come from and how important it is to keep these thoughts with me as I move forward.

One of my favorite things to discuss with Rabbi Daniel Wolnerman is the importance of breaking the habit (tying the other shoe first), making sure we are aware and not just merely living, but experiencing the life we live. I think this is such an important life lesson to learn and especially to learn and understand as soon as you can.

Now, I don't want to sound like I'm complaining, but my schedule isn't one that leaves a lot of room for free time. Because of this, I do my best to take the small times I have walking between classes, driving to and from work to in some way shape or form think about Hillel or Israel, my Judaism or even just how I'm keeping myself aware.

I want to challenge all of you, especially as the semester is starting to pick up with midterms etc., to really be aware. Take a few moments each day to remind yourself of what is important to you, Jewish or not.

Some things you can do:
  • Come to Hillel for any number of their programs every week (Lunch and Learn, Krav Maga, Torah on Tap, Shabbat services and more!)
  • Sit down and chat with Jess, Jeff or Josh
  • Discuss your ideals with Rabbi Daniel
  • Stop by and say hello to Keith, Blair and Corby
Just create a home for yourself here with the things you love... I promise you there is something here for everyone. Happy Tuesday, everyone!

Israel Memories...
Birthright Bus 2- May 2011
"Saying goodbye to the soldiers"

Right to Left: Jordan Barrish, Shahar Kuleski, Kari Hochwald

Monday, October 24, 2011

"All the Flavors of Israel" with Avi Gordon from StandWithUs

UF Israel Network and the Jewish Student Union will be hosting an ice cream social open to the public with StandWithUs East Coast Coordinator, Avi Gordon. Avi will be leading an Israel education session, and there will be a bunch of interactive and fun Israel activities.

Come to Hillel tonight (October 24), to learn and speak with Avi Gordon, from the pro-Israel organization StandWithUs. There will be tons of ice cream and toppings to enjoy while learning and sharing about Israel. Everyone is welcome! Avi is so excited to share his knowledge on Israel and spread useful information on how to get to Israel on inexpensive programs. Come in and ask questions, share your experiences, or just listen. This program is especially beneficial for students who have gone, are going, or who have went on Birthright. It is so important to share your Israel experience with other students! Be sure to come in at 8pm to Hillel this Tuesday for a social you won’t want to miss.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Have you been there?

You walk past it every day and probably don’t realize it’s there. It is on the bottom floor of Library West, in the northwest corner. It holds stories, ideas, and art of a prolific people. The Price Judaica Library. The Isser and Rae Price Library of Judaica is known to be the greatest collection of Jewish literature and other materials in the southeastern United States. I have the honor of being the intern for the head librarian, Rebecca Jefferson. I have held some of the most rare Jewish books in the world. I have learned more about the history of the Jewish people just by working with these books than I have in a number of my classes.

Jewish history is filled with stories of exiles, pogroms, and conversions. These books hold the history of Jews before, after, and during these events. While the people who wrote them are no longer alive, the stories they tell are just as pertinent. One day while I was determining the rarity of a collection of books, I discovered a haggadah. We, the Price library, were the only library that had this haggadah in the world. It dawned on me that some family, 100 years ago, had sat around a table and read this personally-made haggadah. While this was only one family, it shows how all the way in Gainesville, Florida we can still appreciate it.

I invite you to come to the Isser and Rae Price Library of Judaica and see how it can inspire you.

This post was written by MANOA Shabbat and Holidays director, Andrea James.