Masthead image
Hillel Blog

In 1898, Mark Twain published the essay "Concerning the Jews" relfecting on opinions of the qualities of the Jewish people. He concluded the essay the following historical perspective:

"The Egyptian, the Babylonian, and the Persian rose, filled the planet with sound and splendor, then faded to dream-stuff and passed away; the Greek and the Roman followed; and made a vast noise, and they are gone; other people have sprung up and held their torch high for a time, but it burned out, and they sit in twilight now, or have vanished. The Jew saw them all, beat them all, and is now what he always was, exhibiting no decadence, no infirmities of age, no weakening of his parts, no slowing of his energies, no dulling of his alert and aggressive mind. All things are mortal but the Jew; all other forces pass, but he remains. What is the secret of his immortality?" ~Mark Twain

The full text of the article can be found here

Do you agree with all of Clemen's points?  I would question the assumption of "non-participation" of Jews, but it is definitely a debated topic.  Importantly, what have been the changes (if any) in perceptions and "qualities" of the Jews since 1898 to today?  Does the fact that this was written before the Holocaust alter the relevance of the points and was the Holocaust unique in the history of Jewish persecution?


Must be Purim in the 'Burg!  This Purim, WM Hillel enjoyed a bagel and Hamentaschen Baking brunch.  Here are some snaps: 



Out of the Oven



Albert Einstein (A Jew!)

What does being Jewish mean to you? Whether it's just coming to Shabbat dinners sponsored by your school Hillel, going to Temple on Friday nights, or baking latkes on Chanukah, being Jewish is not something unique to just you...which may be a good thing! There's a whole community of Jews around campus and around the world waiting to be discovered. In fact, some of them are pretty famous. Did you know that Natalie Portman, Scarlett Johanson, James Franco, Jake Gyllenhaal, and Mila Kunis all have Jewish blood in them? What about Albert Einstein (a German Jew) and Zac Efron (okay, let's be honest, he may not fit into the same category as Mr. Einstein), who both had Jewish relatives? Chico and Harpo Marx? Paula Abdul? Woody Allen?

There's a popular song I used to sing in my camp:

"Wherever you go, there's always someone Jewish/You're never alone when you say you're a Jew/And when you're not home and you're somewhere kind of newish/the odds are don't look far cuz they're Jewish too!"

When I came to college, I was hesitant to tell people I was Jewish because of the small Jewish population on campus. But when it finally became known, I was surprised at how many people on this campus are Jewish! In fact, there are about 300 Jews on campus. Bet you didn't know that. Being Jewish creates an automatic connection between you and your fellow (300) peers on campus. Perhaps the person you sit next to in class is a fellow Jew! Invite them to Hillel dinner!

While you're having a chat with that college kid you sit next to, here's another more recent up-and-coming Jew in sports news you need to know...

If you are interested in more famous Jews, check out this link:

That's all for now, Hillel. Stay classy!

Last Monday, WM Hillel sent a group to participate in the Martin Luther King Jr. Social Justice & Service Program.   We hadn't heard about the local therapeutic riding center Dream Catchers, located in Toano, and we didn't even know what a therapeutic riding center was, but we bravely ventured to find out. 

 Gabby and Alison with Chaco


Gabby and Alison with Chaco

We learned that Dream Catchers is one of the premier therepeutic riding centers in the world and that they provide nearly 120 rides a week to help people with disabilities make new strides towards recovery.

Matt at Dream Catchers


Matt at Dream Catchers


To learn more about volunteer opportunities at Dream Catchers, check out their website.   They need a ton of volunteers!

-Matt Baker, Hillel President


To keep your mind off of the troubling current events in Israel, here is an uplifting and fascinating story from the Washington Post about a Colombian town that recently rediscovered and embraced Jewish family roots traced through Jewish escapees from the Spanish Inquisition.