By creating this low-barrier social opportunity, we were able to bring an incredibly diverse group of students to Hillel to just enjoy being together. Our staff personally texted an invite to nearly 800 students, we raffled off prizes to students who brought friends, and ran an entire social media campaign to help spread the word. We had students from nearly every social sphere including music, Greek life, athletics, social justice, Israel education, and advocacy, as well as many non-Jewish students who are an integral part of our community.
Unfortunately, there were antisemitic fliers found on campus just days before the event. While the Food Truck Fest took weeks of intentional planning, it wasn’t initially meant to be a community-building opportunity so soon after our students experienced antisemitic acts on campus, but it succeeded in doing so. Our students were appreciative of the safe space we provided where they could celebrate their Jewish identities and be with their friends.
This event was immensely popular with students, as you can tell from our overwhelming attendance, and we’ve heard from students that it re-solidified their love for Hillel. It was an integral part of building back our presence on campus as we’ve seen a full return from COVID and created a spike in attendance for all our programs, including Shabbat.