Hillel invites students to learn more about the group

Ball State's chapter of Hillel set up in the Atrium today with Israeli snacks and a lit up sign in an effort to recruit members.

Ball State is one of more than 500 colleges and universities with a Hillel chapter, an international organization that strives to revamp the Jewish community on college campuses, according to the group's website.

Tim Keane is the co-president of Ball State's chapter, along with Brooke Jacoby. Now a senior, Keane has been a member of Hillel since his freshman year. But he hasn't always had a Ball State Hillel to be a part of.

The first Hillel group at Ball State started in 1991, and had even gotten so big as to have a house like a fraternity house, Keane explained. The group eventually lost that privilege in recent years, though, and it fell apart, the telecommunications major said.

Other members of the Jewish community attended the event, too.

Adi Shacham is an Israeli ambassador who recently came to the Jewish Federation of Indianapolis. Since starting work there two months ago, she has been working with Hillel groups at Indiana college campuses around the Indianapolis area. Shacham has been instrumental in helping rebuild the chapter at Ball State.

Shacham explained that even though they're in the recruiting stage right now, her job after they get a larger group is to bring events and programs to the Hillel members.

"I want to bring to the Hillel programs that connect to Israel," she said.

Some of her ideas included an Israel movie night, an Israeli dinner, and a Hebrew coffee shop, where members will learn to have a conversation in Hebrew.

The table outside of the bookstore was decorated with dreidels, a menorah, chocolate coins and food from Israel including a falafel flavored stick-like snack called bissli and peanut butter flavored puffs called bamba.

The booth's purpose, Keane said, was to get the word out about Jewish culture and the group's revival on campus.

Because the group is so new and so small, there aren't any particular events planned to celebrate the upcoming Hannukah celebration, which this year begins on Dec. 20 and ends Dec. 28.

The last meeting of the group will be at 7:30 p.m. on Dec. 7 in Bracken Library Room 401. Keane said anyone who is interested in learning about the Jewish culture or religion, even if they aren't Jewish, are invited to come to the meeting where they plan on voting on officers and possibly trying to plan an event relating to Hannukah.

"It's about giving the students — who might not otherwise have the opportunity — it's about giving them the opportunity to enjoy this Jewish experience," he said.


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