BY: GEORGE PANIAGUA
It was a warm, clear afternoon at CSULB this past Thursday as a very lively festivity took place on upper campus near the bookstore. As I walked toward the area promoted by blue and white balloons and a very large wall with the word “Shalom” being decorated by different artists, I wondered what the revelry was all about. Shelly Korenboim, a smiling, energetic member of the club hosting the event, greeted me as I curiously approached the festivity and quickly informed me on what the program was all about. I came to learn that a university organization named “Beach Hillel” was hosting the event.
Beach Hillel is a Jewish organization apart of Hillel international, an association based on college campuses across the globe. The club puts on culturally Jewish programs that are meant to motivate students to become involved in the Jewish community while they attend school. It encourages them to continue being a part of Jewish society even after they graduate.
The event they held last Thursday celebrated the ideals of peace and how people individually interpret their own understanding of harmony. Professional graffiti artists of the “Artists for Israel” organization came all the way from New York to be a part of this event commemorating unity.
The artists spray-painted the Hebrew word for peace, “Shalom,” on a vast wall constructed by CSULB’s very own Max Goldstein, a fourth year construction engineering major. The art wasn’t solely left to the professionals; all students were invited and encouraged to decorate the wall with images or words representing what peace means to them.
This was just one of the many year-round events Beach Hillel hosts. All programs Beach Hillel puts on are culturally Jewish, but not exclusively for Jewish students. All students are invited to participate in Beach Hillel’s many events such as their Shabbat dinner.
The Beach Hillel Shabbat dinner is held at the Hillel House off campus, where over 50 Jewish and non-Jewish students come together for an evening filled with delicious food, enticing conversation and a cheerful environment for all to enjoy. Hillel makes their programs observing Judaic practices welcoming for all, while also recognizing these practices are essential for the spiritual growth of Jewish students.
If you aren’t able to make it to the Shabbat dinner, Hillel hosts another weekly event called “Cawffee Tawlk.” Cawffee Talk is held at the Coffee Bean on campus and gives students the chance to discuss social issues and global happenings together, while enjoying a yummy beverage—bought by Beach Hillel!
Cawffee Tawlk keeps students up-to-date with global news and allows for personal opinions to form on important matters. Beach Hillel’s goal is to keep students informed and socially active so that they may better understand and help improve the world around them.
The club’s aim is to amplify Jewish identities while also promoting Judaic culture to the entire campus community in an approachable fashion. One of the most distinguished ways they fulfill this objective is by sponsoring an event, alongside another university club--the 49ers for Israel, called “Israel Week.”
Israel Week is a weeklong program based on educating people on the country of Israel. This year Beach Hillel and 49ers for Israel are celebrating the 67th anniversary of the Jewish state’s Independence between April 20 to 24 with both on and off campus events like an Israeli block party featuring Israeli-style music and art, an Israeli cooking competition. and presentations on Israeli novelty. Moreover, two Israel Defense Force soldiers, Ashgar and Eyal, will be coming down to CSULB to share their experiences as Israeli soldiers and powerful stories of their lives.
Beach Hillel is a welcoming university organization that hosts exciting events and interesting programs for all students to enjoy. Don’t miss out on any of the club’s upcoming events, they’re sure to be an amazing time!