During February Break, fourteen students and Director Joan Robins and her husband, Malcolm Cothran, traveled to Montevideo, Uruguay. Hillel's first social justice trip was funded by Hillel International, alumni, faculty, staff, community members, and the students themselves. Here are some comments from students, written in our community journal.
"I loved the work we did and I feel like our presence made a considerable difference in the lives of the children."
"I had a great time and would do it again in a heartbeat"
"...I went to the rabbi's house for (Shabbat) dinner. Even though they spoke mostly in Spanish, a language I'm probably the least proficient in among everyone on this trip, it amazed me how similar the whole experience was to my own Friday night dinners with my family. They sang the same prayers, with mostly the same tunes, and even the conversation, politics, what it's like to be a younger sibling, and even grammar, reminded me of home."
"...Orthodox Uruguayan Shabbat was a very different experience for me..."
"It was incredible to meet all the children and learn their stories, hopes and dreams...I can only do so much...One day, I hope this world can be a better place."
"...we got to see the Uruguayan night life...I had a very fun time and danced with Uruguayan guys who taught me how to salsa."
"At the Jewish home for the elderly we played a rockin' game of bingo...We met quite the vivacious Grandma Rosie, who gave us some very sage advice, ‘enjoy life' and ‘don't marry too young and then marry for love'. She sent us off with a Yiddish song..."
"...Very inspiring......a Jewish text session about the foundations of Judaism..."
"I loved every minute. It was a phenomenal and eye-opening experience"
"One of the best and most rewarding trips I have ever been on"