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October 13, 2011 - Image 39

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2011-10-13

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

New alternative spring break program supports
loportunitiac for acts of tikkun olam


Thanks to a $15,000 grant from the Max M. and

Felix Shoihat, MSU Hillel's community shaliach-

Marjorie S. Fisher Foundation, a new alternative

the Hebrew word for emissary—will lead the trip,

spring break program will give Jewish students at

helping to make connections between MSU Hillel's

Michigan State University an opportunity to travel to

15 participants and Israel's Jezreel Valley College

Israel and enhance the community through acts of

students before, during, and after the program.

tikkun olam, or community service.

the personal connections between Israeli students

Federation of Metropolitan Detroit's Israel and

living in the region and MSU students," says Audrey

Overseas Department, the Destination Israel:

Bloomberg, MSU Hillel's director of Jewish student

Alternative Spring Break in Israel program will

life. "With the use of technology and social media,

connect college students with Detroit's Partnership

these connections will create a lasting impact on

2000 region in Israel's Central Galilee.

both groups of students."

Efforts by U.S. and Israeli students to tutor each

Israel, perform community service, have a cultural

other in English and Hebrew during break week will

experience, and build community with their Israeli

continue afterward via video chatting.

peers," says Cindy Hughey, MSU Hillel executive


institute ,

"The most beneficial part of this new program is

Led by MSU Hillel with support from the Jewish

"This will be an opportunity for students to go to

ta4is,aunil=t tr 44,

MSU Hillel has led alternative break trips, which

focus on volunteerism, for more than six years.

The trip will provide students with an immersive

Taglit Birthright Israel trips have been offered for

experience in Israel, from creating connections

12 years. 0

with the sister community in the Central Galilee to

exploring social justice issues.

MSU Hillel was one of two of more than 500 Hillel foundations
on college and university campuses to receive the Indispensible
Campus Partner Award at the Hillel Professional Staff
Conference in St. Louis, Missouri, in August. The award
recognizes MSU Hillel for its outstanding strategic alliances
with Michigan State University. MSU Hillel staff pictured from
left are: Audrey Bloomberg, director of Jewish student life;
Cindy Hughey, executive director; Robyn Berkowitz, director of
engagement and campus initiatives; Dirk Roberts, program
associate; and Felix Shoihat, community shaliach.

Young playwrights' work
comes to life at MSU

Michigan high school students don't have to wait for

their dreams of writing and producing plays to

become a reality. The Wharton Center for the

Performing Arts Young Playwrights Festival invites

students to submit original one-act plays for a

Partnership enhances study abroad in Jerusalem

Michigan State University has partnered this year with Hebrew

chance to be produced and performed by the MSU

Department of Theatre.

"The goal of the program is to incorporate the arts

University to establish an MSU Semester Program in Jerusalem that

into academics," says Kent Love, director of commu-

will have a broader selection of course offerings in English than has

nications for the Wharton Center. "Students see how

been offered in the past.

writing has a real-world application."

The application deadline for the first version of the program,

Now in its 16th year, the festival offers 12 semi-

scheduled for spring 2012, is November 15. The program will include

finalists the opportunity to work with mentors in the

a core course, Making of the Israeli State, as well as a menu of

professional theatre community to refine their

courses in finance, journalism, psychology, public affairs, and

scripts. A jury will select six finalists to work with a

literature. Students will complete an Ulpan Hebrew course before

director to see their written work performed by MSU

the semester. Continued language study in Hebrew or Arabic, as

theatre students.

well as an internship in Jerusalem, will be optional.

"Working with a mentor is a great opportunity and

The goal of the MSU Semester Program in Jerusalem is to help make

gives young people a chance to go behind the

Israel a study abroad destination for MSU students in a wide range

scenes and experience the process of bringing a

of programs and also to attract non-Jewish as well as Jewish

written work to life on the stage," says Love. "It's also


a grooming process for students who want to pursue

As one of eight universities named winners of a MASA award to expand study abroad in Israel, MSU

a career in the arts."

received funds to help plan and develop this new initiative. MASA, an organization of the Jewish

Victoria Jackson, a 2010 finalist from East Grand

Agency for Israel, works closely with the Israeli government and universities.

Rapids, says her participation in the festival opened

Kenneth Waltzer, director of MSU's Jewish Studies Program, accompanied a delegation of MSU

faculty and staff to negotiate the new program at Hebrew University this past February. They toured

her mind to new experiences.

"The process is brilliant," she says. "I learned so much

the recently completed student village where students will be housed and met with leading

about the individuals involved and what goes into

academic officials.


The new semester program is sponsored by six MSU colleges: College of Arts and Letters, Eli Broad

This year's deadline for entries is November 18, and

College of Business, College of Communication Arts and Sciences, College of Social Science, James

semifinalists will be selected in January. The works of

Madison College, and the Residential College in the Arts and Humanities.

the six finalists will be performed for the public in

For more information, contact Cindy Chalou, associate director of study abroad, at chalouc@msu.edu .

May. Each finalist receives a $200 award and

semifinalists each receive $100.

For more information, visit whartoncenter.com/ypf.

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