Since the coronavirus pandemic began more than a month ago, Hillels have come together to support Jewish students in the United States and around the world. Thanks to the efforts of local Hillels, thousands of students struggling with isolation, food insecurity and the impact of the coronavirus on themselves and their families are receiving the care, compassion and the Jewish community they need during this unprecedented time. In order to ensure that Hillels can continue to play this vital role in the lives of Jewish young people, Hillel International is announcing its first-ever Global Giving Week to coincide with Giving Tuesday Now on May 5, a day of unity to encourage support for nonprofits making a difference in the face of the pandemic.
During Global Giving Week, May 4 through May 8, 2020, all gifts to support local Hillels and the Jewish students they serve on more than 500 campuses will be matched, dollar-for-dollar by Hillel International, as long as matching dollars last.
Israeli guitarist superstar David Broza will kick-off this inaugural Hillel Global Giving Week with a concert on Hillel International’s Facebook Live at 4 p.m. EDT on Sunday, May 3. His hit song “Yihye Tov” is a popular Israeli anthem of peace.
Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, Hillels have been supporting students in a wide variety of ways, including:
- Addressing food insecurity: Hillels have been providing curbside delivery of boxed meals to thousands of Jewish students who are struggling with hunger and food insecurity.
- Mental health and isolation: Many Hillels have called every Jewish student in their community to check in. Others have had hour-long conversations with at-risk students who have been cut off from their support systems on campus.
- Pastoral care: Jewish students who have lost loved ones due to coronavirus or who have loved ones who are sick can turn to Hillel rabbis or senior Jewish educators for spiritual consolation and ritual.
- Jewish community: Hillels have been delivering Passover and Shabbat boxes so students can observe holidays and rituals. This has allowed students to host song-filled Havdalah services for hundreds of Jewish college students from around the world and observe Yom HaShoah (Holocaust memorial day) through a virtual reading of the names, creating powerful Jewish connections even in the face of separation.
For more information about Hillel International’s online programming and Jewish learning during the global pandemic visit welcome.hillel.org/hillelathome. This online hub for Hillel includes a volunteering portal for students to give back to their community and virtual campus visits to connect high school juniors and seniors with current college students at the schools they hope to attend.