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
"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
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org .
May. Each finalist receives a $200 award and
semifinalists each receive $100.
For more information, visit whartoncenter.com/ypf.