Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

Looking forward to another great year at Central Florida Hillel

It is a convenient occurrence (philosophically at least) that the Jewish New Year comes each year so close to the start of a new year on campus. Each year we get prepared to greet the New Year filled with possibilities, opportunities and chances to do better for ourselves and the world.

At virtually the same time, we are greeted by thousands of new faces on campus who themselves are the very epitome of new possibilities, opportunities and chances for us to do better for them, while helping them to do better for the world.

If the start of this New Year is any indication, we are in for an incredible year!

This summer, a UCF student was one of 17 Jewish students in the world selected to join the Hillel International Student Board. In addition, our AEPI chapter was honored as the top Birthright recruiter among all AEPI chapters around the world. 

This was a real affirmation that Central Florida students regard our Birthright Trip as the best Israel experience, and one that is far superior to the any "off the shelf trips" marketed on campus.

At our annual Welcome Back event, we had over 250 students show up... more than double from last year. Our first "Hump Day Nosh" (Wednesday food party at Central Florida Hillel) had over 100 students, nearly double from last year. Finally, our first Shabbat of the year had over 160 students packed into our ballroom which was not only at capacity, but we had to set up a table in the outside hallway to serve all the students. This was the largest Shabbat dinner crowd, we have had since the inauguration of our new building in 2013!

As you may already have seen and heard yourself, the word has gotten out across Florida and the United States, that there is now a vibrant Jewish community at UCF and we are open for business!

Our model is simple. We hire the very best professional staff to work with and empower self-selected student leaders with drive and passion. With generous support from parents, alumni, and the Orlando community, we enrich the lives of our students so they are inspired and committed to Jewish life, Jewish learning, and Klal Israel. They are learning how to become the leaders in the Central Florida Jewish Community now... and in the years to come wherever they travel. CFH is a great example of the old adage, "it takes a village."

Best wishes to you and your family, from all of us at Central Florida Hillel, for a Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year!

Aaron Weil, Executive Director and CEO of CFH

Dana C. Bial, CFH Board Chair


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