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October 13, 2009

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October 13, 2009

When I first came to Pittsburgh I had just finished a gap year in Israel and I was worried that I would not find the type of Jewish Community I had grown to need. However, over the past 4 years, hillel JUC has been the most invaluable Jewish resource i have encountered. Whether it was finding me opportunities to go back to Israel for free or finding me jobs with in the Pittsburgh community, hillel has guided me through.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

several ways most important of which is finding me jobs throughout my four years at Pitt.

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What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the staff. They have a way of making you feel like the most important person in the world.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

extremely dedicated, intelligent, and kind.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

make Pittsburgh the most amazing city for Jewish teens in America.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

October 13, 2009

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October 13, 2009

My involvement with the Hillel JUC of Pittsburgh has undoubtedly been the most important and rewarding part of my Jewish life thus far. Throughout middle school and high school, I separated myself from Jewish youth groups, Sunday School, and Hebrew school and preferred to get involved in what my non-Jewish friends were doing. When I came to the University of Pittsburgh, I wasn't necessarily searching for a "Jewish" experience, I was searching for a home away from home. This is exactly what I found at Hillel. During my freshmen year, Hillel helped me flourish into a successful and very happy Jewish student. The other students and amazing staff encouraged my Jewish learning and helped me form an a cappella group, the VoKols. For the first time in my life, I attended Shabbat services regularly, participated in debates about Israel, and had a majority of Jewish friends. I am now a senior and I owe so much to the Hillel JUC and Staff. As the current student board President at Pitt, I work very closely with the fantastic staff and lay board members to make the organization even better every day. I am so proud of every one of our programs - from J'Burgh, to the VoKols, to Challah for Hunger - Hillel has something for everyone.

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The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

willing to go about and beyond to help a student feel at home in Pittsburgh.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

October 12, 2009

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October 12, 2009

I have had a great experience being a board member of Hillel JUC for 3+ years. It is an organization that provides great programming and incredible services to its students. It has a wondeful and committed staff that I have enjoyed interacting with and I believe that other boards and organizations should look to Hillel JUC as a model for success.

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The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

incredibly caring and hard working individuals who make every effort to serve the students in our community.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

hire more staff to work on programming and better serve its community.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

October 12, 2009

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October 12, 2009

My first experience as a new Board member was greeting parents and students at move in day in the parking lots at CMU this fall. It was so gratifying to see how excited parents and students were to be connected to a Jewish setting away from home. I expected the brunch to be not well attended, but was amazed at the steady flow of people - the shy freshman slowly opening up to the more senior students adn the parents interacting with staff and Board members. Parents were grateful to know there would be a connection for the students and a safe place for parents to get help for a sick child or with any other need they may have. The reunion among the older students was what every parent would hope for - smiling faces, non-stop chatter. This experience was followed by attendance at Friday night Shabbat dinner several weeks later. Again, a packed room with student led prayers, invites to social events and healthy exchanges between the students. I just tried to take it all in - watching the youth who are our future come together out of a common bond of being Jewish regardless of how observant. I can't think of a better gift to a Jewish college student than a membership to Hillel and pre-paid Shabbat dinner attendance. Oh, and then there is Family Ties---I have adopted a junior at Pitt to be my "son" while he is away from home. What a great experience. Another way for me to learn about Hillel JUC and to connect my son to this great organization. Influencing one life at a time is what this Hillel JUC village does so well. The Hillel JUC is so much more and I look forward to all the new experiences I will have as a Board member - all of which I will pass along to my high school senior in the hope that he too will find his way to a Hillel JUC at the college he attends, wherever that turns out to be.

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What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

Seeing the smiles on the students and parent's faces.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Incredibly dedicated and energetic.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Increase its impact on students and create more model programs for other Hillel's to use.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

October 12, 2009

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October 12, 2009

Hillel has been an important part of my college experience. The staff is amazing and I always enjoy myself at shabbat meals. It really is a second home to not only me, but students that come to Pitt from afar. I have always felt welcomed!

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The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

The staff is amazing!! I don't think I could survived being on board without the help of our amazing staff!!

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

October 11, 2009

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October 11, 2009

Hillel was such an important part of my Jewish experience. Having the opportunity to spend time with other Jewish students engaged in Jewish activities has given me a stronger Jewish identity.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

my everyday life. I have made friends, become of part of the larger Pittsburgh community and gained a stronger Jewish identity.

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What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

Making friends and free shabbat dinners.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Always warm, friendly, innovative and easy to connect with.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

provide free shabbat dinners host Idan Reichel in concert send all of the campus leaders to Israel have a Rabbi on staff

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

October 9, 2009

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October 9, 2009

I attended University of Pittsburgh as an Undergraduate. As everyone does in college, I evolved tremendously during my time in school. Although many things were constantly changing around me and with me, Hillel was always a consistent and important part of my experience at the University of Pittsburgh. The Hillel JUC offered me opportunities for everything from professional development to finding babysitting jobs! I have very fond memories of my time in Pittsburgh and they are due in large part to the Hillel JUC.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

a variety of ways. By following the example of people like Linda Myers and Aaron Weil, the organization was responsible for equipping me with the tools to become a Jewish communal professional.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

encourage smaller universities in the area (i.e. Dusquene...) to take advantage of this institution.

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What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the opportunity to constantly meet new poeple in different situations.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

amazing. Aaron and Linda befriended everyone who walked through Hillel's doors and made every effort for people to feel ownership of the JUC.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

ensure that students for years to come have the same experiences I had.

Ways to make it better...

I became took on a Hillel leadership position.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

lack of funding.

One thing I'd also say is that...

I am grateful for the opportunity to speak of my experience at Hillel.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

October 9, 2009

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October 9, 2009

Going to Hillel JUC was one of the best parts of my college experience. The staff is absolutely wonderful, and it was just a great place to go to get to know other Jewish students in a fun setting that was close to campus. I definitely felt closer to Judaism because of Hillel, where I led services on Friday night. I made and cemented some of my best friendships at Hillel. Hillel was a great place to go between classes, whether to try to interrupt the staff while they were working hard, or to write papers on the computers, or even just to hang out in the cafe eating Bamba. There was always a place for me in Hillel, and I was always greeted with a smile. Friday night dinners were one of the very best parts of Hillel. Being able to have a free meal while being a student on a budget, along with having that meal with people I loved, in a place I adored and made me feel more Jewish was more than I could hope for. In the summer of 2005, Aaron Weil, the director of Hillel JUC, sent me an email about a program with the Hillel in Uruguay studying Spanish for a month. Aaron knew that I was interested in South America, and thought of me immediately. The program brought students from Hillels in America to the Hillel in Uruguay. Little did I know, that's where I would meet mu husband. He was involved with Hillel in Uruguay, and the rest is history. I owe a lot to the Hillel JUC, and I hope that future students get the same opportunities that I was given.

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If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

bring about such a revival and renewed interest in Judaism and Jewish culture within the college campuses. Hillel JUC always had amazing ideas, but did not always have sufficient resources. With more funds,Hillel JUC could take it to a whole other level

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008

October 8, 2009

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October 8, 2009

I think that the Hillel JUC is one of the finest organizations in all of Pittsburgh. It is uniquely positioned because of its clientelle and excellent performance to make a lasting impact on the lives of individuals as they connect with the Jewish community.

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What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

The passion of the staff and students.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

October 8, 2009

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October 8, 2009

I became involved with the Hillel JUC as a freshman in college. I found it to be an environment that was warm and welcoming. The building became my second home, and the staff my second family. The weekly Friday Shabbat services and dinners were my favorite part of the week. It was a chance for a good meal and to be surrounded friends and community members. It allowed me to connect with the larger Pittsburgh Jewish community and meet mentors. Some of the specific aspects I was involved in include freshmen orientation, social justice programming, and volunteering for Hillel's annual fundraiser. Through these experiences I saw firsthand the impact of Hillel on Pitt's campus, and on the students that it touches. It is a leader of social justice events on campus, and often cosponsors events on important issues such as Darfur.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

learning the kind of Jewish adult I want to become.

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What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the people.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

warm and approachable.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

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