PEARL: Providing Education and Resources for Leadership

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Connecting to our College Students: How do our students away at college remain connected to our communities?

Connecting to our College Students: How do our students away at college remain connected to our communities?

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  • 1.  
    PEARL: Providing Education and Resources for Leadership
    Connecting to our College Students: How do our students away at college remain connected to our communities?
    Jewish Reconstructionist Federation
    Transformative Judaism for the 21st Century
    101 Greenwood Avenue
    Beit Devora, Suite 430
    Jenkintown, PA 19046
    215.885.5601 / fax: 215.885.5603
    www.jrf.org
    Rabbi Jeff Eisenstat and David Basior
    March 22, 2011-8:00 p.m.-9:15 p.m.
  • 2. Upon Graduating High School
    A service to honor those graduates
    Gifts of Mezuzah
    Book Where We Stand edited by Rabbi Allan L. Smith, and discuss such topics as; Can a good Jew criticize Israel? What’s the Jewish view on homosexuality? Belief in God and much more. or the two volume text, The Jewish Book of WHY.
    Ask for a parent to collect info
    E-mail
    Campus address
  • 3. Upon Entering College
    Rabbi to send quarterly letters or e-mails
    What’s going on at home?
    On the Jewish scene
    On the Recon scene
    Birth right
    Tikkun Olam Spring Break
    Holiday Goodie packages
    Sukkot, Hanukah, Tu Bishvat, Purim, Pesah,
  • 4. Staying Connected
    What is in their area for…
    Services
    Shule opportunities
    Contact local Recon Synagogues for home hospitality
    Bringing students to Camp and Youth events as Madrihim
    College Night at their Home
    Thanksgiving
    Speaking to the High School Program
  • 5. Brandeis: as an outsider
    Reform, Orthodox and Conservative students groups each have weekly Friday night services and their own student group (vis a vie Hillel and the University).
    There are more than 200 Orthodox students on campus.
    The rabbis on campus are Conservative and Orthodox.
    -While Hillel is large, it is very sectioned.
    -Hillel dinner happens every Friday night. It is huge and dominated by an Orthodox culture.
  • 6. BRO: The Brandeis Reconstructionist Organization
    -Reconstructionist students reached out to RRC for support in creating Reconstructionist space for themselves and others interested.
    -RRC created an internship in 2008-2009 where a student worked with the Reconstructionist students and traveled to Brandeis 4 times during the year to help lead services and meet with students.
    -Became an official student group (BRO) at Brandeis and an official Hillel group in 2009.
    -Made up of board of 4 students originally, currently 5 students.
    -Started by having 2 services per semester and increased to 4 per semester (once per month).
    -Hosted the second annual ShabBROton earlier this month where 13 out-of-town Reconstructionist college students came to Brandeis for the weekend, and many Brandeis Reconstructionists, and other interested in learning about Reconstructionism participated in events throughout the weekend.
  • 7. Other Campuses
    Mostother campuses have a small handful or just one or two Reconstructionist identified students on their campuses.
    -Reconstructionist students on the same campus may not know one another. One may be from Camp while another from a different region of the country who never went to camp.
    -Some students report feeling alone and needing to explain what Reconstructionism is at every turn.
    -Some students note that Hillel literature sometimes does not acknowledge Reconstructionism as a movement of Judaism, i.e. “The 3 major movements...Reform, Conservative and Orthodox.”
  • 8. RRC
    -For the third year, RRC has a student internship at Brandeis working with BRO. This is the only RRC internship that works only with Reconstructionist college students.
    -RRC has 7 other campus internships for students working on campuses throughout the Philadelphia area (including one in Delaware). These students work generally on Jewish life and while bring their Reconstructionist approached, do not work explicitly with Reconstructionist students.
    -This year began a research stage for a project to support, engage, and network the hundreds of Reconstructionist college students throughout the US. A student intern has done this work.
  • 9. Reconstructionist Campus Professionals
    Many Reconstructonist rabbis work for Hillel or serve as Chaplain at a variety of college campuses.
    -Many of those that I spoke with said that having Kol HaNeshama on their campus would help engage students in Reconstructionism.
  • 10. The Project (ideas)
    Listen and Respond:
    -Letting students know we are desirous of knowing their challenges and needs.
    -Hearing and listening to those challenges and needs.
    -Responding to those challenges and needs.
    Anticipate:
    -Educate Hillel professionals on the ideas and approaches of Reconstructionism.
    -Provide Kol HaNeshama and other Reconstructionist materials to Hillels.
    -RRC students and rabbis visit campuses to work with students.
    -Reconstructionist Taglit-birthright israel trip?
    -Other Reconstructionist immersive experiences – service learning trips, environmental education trips, retreats & regional shabbatons?
    Student Leadership:
    -Jewish Reconstructionist College Network facebook group?
    -Form student groups where it makes sense
    -Resource sharing (programs, service plans, etc.)
    -Encourage one another to recruit others, speak with Hillel professionals about making Jewish campus life work for them, and creating programming for their campuses.
    -Request specific help from RRC.