Our award winning Smashing Pumpkins Smashing Stereotypes at Pace University
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HOW Interns in St. Louis!
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Purchase Students learning AcroYoga in AhappierU
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Pop Up Purim Party at Sarah Lawrence College
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HOW students in Israel!
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HOW staff and student cadre at the 2017 AIPAC Policy Conference
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Statement on the tragedy at Tree of Life Synagogue

We live in scary times.  That is not fake news.  And, there are two absolute truths in that statement:

These are scary times, and

We live.

As Jews, we often reflect on perseverance.  It is a value we learn from our teachers and pass on to our children.  I am not here to talk about perseverance.  I am here to talk about living, really living.

Like so many of you, I was shaken to my core after the horrific shooting at Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh this past Shabbat.  I watched the events unfold and wrestled with the fear, loss, anger and confusion as I tried to understand what would motivate a human being to take innocent lives.  Then, I heard witness testimony that this murderer exclaimed “All the Jews must die” before opening fire. 

How dare you?!  How dare you enter a sanctuary – our sanctuary – and presuppose anything other than life?

In the subsequent hours and days I thought of all of the synagogues and sanctuaries I have known.  How many hours of my own life have been spent in sanctuary?

Praying.

Learning.

Advocating.

Volunteering.

Teaching.

Celebrating.

Mourning.

As a Jew. 

To anyone that dares to challenge my values, I offer only one undeniable truth: I live!  And I will continue to live, despite your efforts and the efforts of any who share your misguided ideologies.  Jews do not just persevere; we live. 

The question that remains for each us is what we choose to do with our lives. 

I choose to speak out against injustice, like Esther.

I choose to lift up the fallen, like Elijah.

I choose to fight tyranny, like Judah Maccabee.

I choose to comfort the discomforted, like Abraham.

I choose to be brave, like Nachshon.

I choose to carry on our shared Jewish values, like Ruth.

Because I am proudly Jewish and I live in a country of ideals.  And I will live those values every day of my life, and I will defend peace, love, life and community because that is what it means to be Jewish.  No madman with a gun, nor moron on a bully pulpit will take that away from me as long as I live.

The wise sage Michelle Obama reminded us, “when they go low, we go high.” 

This tragedy is as low as I have ever felt.  Where is the high road?

The high road is paved with love.

Love for the Jewish people.  Love for all people.

Love for gays, lesbians, transgender, queer and anyone who feels marginalized.

Love for the immigrant.

Love for the hungry.

Love for the sad.

Love for the haughty and the heartbroken.

Love for life. 

Hashkeveinu, Adonai, Eloheinu l’shalom v’hamedeinu shomreinu l’chayim. 

God, let me lie down in peace and wake with my soul refreshed.  Protect me, that I may live another day, proudly Jewish, so I may continue to work with all of my brothers and sisters to leave this world a better place than I found it.

L’chayim, to life. 

 

 

 

HOW Happy R U?

Want to be happier with as little as 5 minutes a week? Try out the Happiness Campaign with Hillels of Westchester. Based on 10 character traits, middot, and 10 keys to happiness, each month will have various avenues for you to explore and grow in each trait. Through texts, yoga vinyasas, guided meditations, and other experiences you will learn to reframe life. Each week within the month will grow the theme in order to bring breadth and depth to your experience.

 

Text @HOWHappy to 81010 and check out the facebook page at HOWHappyRU?

 

 

Join HOW for the High Holidays!

2018/5778 High Holy Days

Rosh Hashanah begins at sundown on Sunday, September 9, 2018.  

Hillels of Westchester is pleased to offer High Holiday options for any and every student who wishes to celebrate, atone, eat and fast. 

Register today for Anywhere in Westchester.

How Alumni

HOW alumni are changing the world.

HOW Students Supporting Israel

Every year, college students in Westchester interact with Israel and Israelis through HOW.  In 2015, students were invited to a private Friends of the Israeli Defense Forces (FIDF) event in Bedford, NY to hear Noam Gershony's inspiring story. Noam is an IDF veteran who was injured in an Apache helicopter crash in 2006. He went on to become the first and only Israeli Paralympic gold medal winner for tennis. Students appreciated being able to meet so many influential and supportive members of the Westchester community! 

Hillels of Westchester Birthright Photo Exhibit

Hillels of Westchester takes great pride in presenting the Kronish Enrichment Grant in loving memory of Herb and Doris Kronish. This exhibit focuses on the power of photography as an expression of the personal journeys of dozens of Westchester college students who experience Israel through Taglit Birthright.  Since 2014, the exhibit have traveled through campuses and local JCCs.  

Bring the HOW Birthright photo exhibit to your synagague, school or venue! 

 
Take a look at our Hillels of Westchester Video!

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