100 Gifts, 100 Days

Penn State Hillel’s ‘100 Days, 100 Gifts’ is a 100-day awareness and fundraising campaign, running from March 22, 2017 to June 30, 2017. Every day, see one more way our Annual Campaign directly impacts the approximated 5,000 Jewish students at Penn State.

Over the next 100 days, follow our progress and learn more about how Penn State Hillel is empowering Penn State students to pursue tzedek (social justice), tikkun olam (repairing the world), and Jewish learning, and to support Israel and global Jewish peoplehood.

Take a look at 100 ways Penn State Hillel is making an impact on Jewish life at Penn State, Jewish students, and the State College Jewish community. 

Day 65 of 100: The Israel Congress is a round table for students leaders to gather and discuss innovative ways to engage Penn State students in Israel education and advocacy. 

Day 64 of 100: Israel Education is always of high importance for our students. Students especially enjoy learning about the Israel Defense Force when they return from their Birthright trips. Students gather once a year to write letters to Lone Soldiers in the IDF to say ‘thank you’ for their service and commitment to Israel.

Day 63 of 100: Fall is football season and that means tailgates! Each fall, staff and students work together to host a tailgate at a home football game. We give students a comfortable space to come have snacks, meet other Jewish students, catch up with alumni, and cheer for our favorite team! WE ARE! 

Day 62 of 100: Each semester, staff and students plan a Freshman Shabbat Dinner. This event takes place in the Freshman East Dorms, making it especially convenient to meet these students where they’re at. The meal is pizza and salad and is a space to celebrate Shabbat as well as to meet other Jewish freshman on campus!

Day 61 of 100: For the past three years Hillel has brought Holocaust survivors so that students can hear their stories and engage in Holocaust Education and Awareness. The speakers bring in thousands of students and community members. 

Day 60 of 100: Our Birthright trips never end after 10 days! When students are back on campus, we prepare additional learning opportunities and reunions for continued engagement. Many students enjoy gathering with their Birthright groups for Shabbat and holidays!

Day 59 of 100: Finals Week is always the hardest and we want to make sure our students are feeling healthy and ready! The best way to do that is food. Each finals week, students are invited to a bagel brunch to relax and clear their head before studying and exams begin.

Day 58 of 100: Each summer student interns and leaders are sent to St. Louis for Engagement Institute, a 4 day convening hosted by Hillel International. Hillel Institute offers training on engagement methodology and Jewish educations. Students have the opportunity to meet other Jewish leaders from across the country and prepare for their work on campus.

Day 57 of 100: Netflix and Chillel is one of the many initiatives created by a CEI to bring students together. Netflix and Chillel specifically brings students together to watch popular TV show, with Jewish themes, to discuss the ways that Jewish values are intertwined into each episode. This program gives students a chance to take a break from their work, and to discover places where Judaism plays a role in ways they didn’t realize before!

Day 56 of 100: Once a month, Jews and Brews takes place at a local bar/restaurant. Jewish undergraduate and graduate students, of 21 age and up, have a chance  to unwind and socialize in the context of meeting other Jewish students and socializing off-campus. At this gathering, staff order appetizers, and students cover their own drinks.

Day 55 of 100: Jewish education is always a priority at Hillel. At Penn State Hillel, we make sure that each student and staff has access to a variety of Jewish learning. One way we do that is through Rabbi Danielle, Hillel’s Multi-Campus Educator, who spends time each month teaching students and working with staff to increase their Jewish confidence and educational capacity

Day 54 of 100: At the end of the school year, the Hillel staff who supervise different student groups and student leaders on campus, such as the Jewish Student Life Committee and the Campus Engagement Interns celebrate the year’s success with a home-cooked meal. The dinner is an opportunity for students to have a healthy meal before finals and to celebrate all of their hard work throughout the year! 

Day 53 of 100: Students are always encouraged to celebrate Jewish life on their own terms. For many, that means sharing a meal together and celebrating their personal and collective traditions, especially when parents and families are in town! Each year, Penn State Hillel participates in Penn State’s Parents and Families Weekend and Greek Life’s Parents Weekend. Both weekends, students are welcome to attend Hillel for Shabbat, host their own Shabbat (funded by Hillel), or participate in the events offered around campus, including our Jewish Life Sunday Brunch!

Day 52 of 100: We love when students get excited about sharing Jewish experiences on campus. Many students enjoy hosting Shabbat dinner of Saturday Shabbat Lunch in their homes where they can share their traditions and rituals with their closest friends. Students are able to apply for funding for these meals through JewPAC, the Jewish Programming and Allocations Committee.

Day 51 of 100: At the start of each year, students are welcomed back to campus with Penn State Hillel’s annual Welcome Week. Welcome Week includes programs each night for first year Penn Staters to get to know more about Jewish life at Penn State, meet new people, and celebrate their first year on campus! Upperclassman are also welcome to celebrate the new year and reconnect with old friends!

Day 50 of 100: Students from Challah for Hunger had the opportunity to bake challah with the Hebrew School kids at the State College synagogue, Brit Shalom This program gave PSU students a chance to get involved in the local community and vice versa. We were able to expand the Challah for Hunger donor base into the community and provide Hebrew School kids a chance to practice making challahot- a classic Jewish tradition! Students are always welcoming opportunities, like this one, to engage in the community


Missed a few days? Catch up on our 100 days campaign here:

100 Days, 100 Gifts Blog

Follow our progress @PennStateHillel, #100DaysPSUHillel