Hillel Institute Rimona Cartun '13

This past August, five Hillel Executive Officers participated in the Hillel Engagement Institute held at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. The conference had representatives from over sixty campuses across the nation, with over 600 students. Our days were filled with leadership development seminars, smaller group discussions, as well as larger group simulations. Together we delved into what it means to be a student leader, the importance of being interested, not just interesting, how to engage others and how to develop a sense of community on campus. We participated in simulations and discussions to help understand the techniques of peer engagement and to anticipate the challenges we may face on campus.

One of my favorite parts of the conference was Shabbat. Everyone wore white and we gathered together for singing
and dancing and then proceeded to the Shabbat service of our choice. We also got to experience one of St. Louis' popular places-The City Museum; a museum, consisting largely of repurposed architectural and industrial objects, housed
in the former International Shoe building. The museum bills itself as an "eclectic mixture of children's playground, funhouse, surrealistic pavilion, and architectural marvel." It was very entertaining and was a great bonding opportunity for our board members.

The engagement institute set the ground for our year and we were truly excited to bring what we learned back to Washington and Lee.