The JT’s Dec. 29 cover story by Andy Belt, “Welcome ‘Home,’” captured a good sense of the importance of the five area Hillels for the Jewish community with interviews with the respective directors (Hopkins, Goucher, Towson, UMBC and University of Maryland, College Park).
The importance of the Hillels is tucked away in the last paragraph with a quote from Rabbi Ari Israel of Maryland Hillel: “Alumni ask, ‘How many members do you have?’ And the answer is none, but we have thousands of students who are connected.” As our synagogues, temples and JCCs connect Jews, so do the Hillels. Try the following illustration:
As a student, UMBC Hillel director Jeremy Fierstein, a New Jersey native, went to Maryland. At the Hillel he met his wife, Alana, a Chicago native, and my son, Josh, a Pikesville native, who met his wife, Tammy, a Silver Spring, Md., native. Many of their close friendships began at Hillel.
—Theodore Levin, Pikesville