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Campus Life 014: Jewish Adventures for All Seasons

Diverse, exotic, innovative, connected, and fun—that’s the Jewish collegiate experience today. Here are most popular options to explore:

Experience the Fundamentals The Union for Reform Judaism’s KESHER College Department is your Reform Jewish network on campus. KESHER (Hebrew word for “connection”) connects you to other Reform Jewish students on your campus and nationwide, providing dynamic leadership as well as social and educational opportunities. If there’s no KESHER group on your campus, you can start one. 

And go to Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life—the largest Jewish campus organization in the world—for music, theater, athletic programs, cultural and social justice programs, and the opportunity to support Israel and Klal Yisrael, global Jewish peoplehood—in addition to the usual Shabbat and holiday staples. 

Study Abroad Join Jewish youth from around the world on the Carmel: An Israel Study Program and Progressive Beit Midrash and immerse yourself in Israeli society through Hebrew language study, voluntarism, and travel throughout the state. Academic coursework at the University of Haifa is coupled with study in the Beit Midrash of the Progressive Movement’s Lokey International Academy of Jewish Studies at the Leo Baeck Education Center. 

Another option is Hebrew University's Rothberg International School, where you can live on Jerusalem’s beautiful Mount Scopus and take courses in biblical or modern Hebrew, Israeli history and culture, history, archaeology, and more.

You can also spend four months in one of the most beautiful cities in the world. The architecture, culture, and history of Prague provide a unique window into Jewish life before the Holocaust. Through CET Jewish Studies in Prague you will earn college credit while taking classes in the Jewish Quarter; volunteering at the Jewish Home for the Aged; and traveling to Warsaw, Krakow, and Budapest.

Embark on a Summer Adventure Are you passionate about ending the genocide in Darfur, upholding a woman’s right to choose, protecting the Earth from global climate change? The Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism's Machon Kaplan Internship Program will train you in effective social action in pursuit of tikkun olam while you live in the U.S. capital. 

Never been to Israel? Take advantage of Taglit-birthright israel, a ten-day free trip to the Jewish state. You can go during summer or winter vacation, with your campus Hillel, KESHER, or a variety of other trip organizers. 

Seeking to strengthen your leadership skills? Hillel's Collegiate Leadership Internship Program (CLIP) for students who live or attend college in the New York area is a competitive, paid summer internship that promises to “develop effective leadership skills, expand professional horizons, and [introduce you to] the dynamic nature of the organized Jewish community on campus and across the world.”

Spend your summer building homes and global relationships in Africa, Asia, or Latin America. The American Jewish World Service (AJWS) brings students together to fulfill the Jewish commitment to tikkun olam, repairing the world, by promoting social justice and change in developing countries. 

Spring Break Mitzvah Opportunities Nearly two years after Hurricane Katrina, many areas in the Gulf Coast are still in dire need of repair. Forget Cancun or Panama City. Spend an intense, meaningful week on the Hillel Alternative Spring Break program, gutting houses and helping rebuild damaged neighborhoods, meeting with homeowners, community organizers, politicians, and newspaper editors; seeing the sights of New Orleans, and taking in a special Shabbat of rest and reflection. Contact Abbey Greenberg,

Experience what the early chalutzim (pioneers) of Israel lived through—turning the desert into livable land. Travel to Israel’s Negev Desert on the Jewish National Fund's Alternative Spring Break. 

Enrich yourself, and you’ll find you can enrich the world.

—Jennifer Gubitz, rabbinical student,
Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion


Union for Reform Judaism.