Before fall semester started, Hillel staff members reached out to me for a virtual ‘get-to-know-you’ and I could not be more thankful for that opportunity. Zoom fatigue made it challenging to connect with people outside of my ASU classes. There were times when it felt like it would be impossible to make friends and feel a part of the greater campus community during my virtual semester. Because of that one Hillel call, I joined two Hillel classes that helped me build deep connections with students and the Jewish community at ASU. Hillel constantly reminded me that being virtual might have made things harder, but not impossible.
I loved learning more about life’s big questions and about Israel through the two classes I took, the Jewish Learning Fellowship (JLF) and the Engage Israel fellowship. Both classes were structured differently than my academic classes; they gave me the chance to talk with other students one-on-one and in small groups. Having this weekly commitment with students who were there for the same reasons I was made building friendships easy. These classes allowed me to build real relationships with other ASU students and I can confidently say that I feel a part of the community because of Hillel.
I honestly believe that there’s no other space or community that makes such a real effort to reach out to someone new and to make sure that every person feels comfortable. I am so grateful for the amazing and generous donors who make it all possible.