By Abby Wallisch
For the Mitzpeh

The Hillel community is looking forward to its next big upcoming event from May 12 through May 14, which is centered around celebrating graduating Terps. The weekend includes a Shabbat dinner, beer garden and barbecue with Ari Israel, Hillel’s executive director.

Program and operations associate Alyssa Silva is in charge of planning for this event and is most excited for the beer garden on May 12 at 4 p.m.

We are doing the Senior beer garden and Shabbat on the same evening,” said Silva. “[Students will] able to go from the beer garden straight into Shabbat together.”

This year, they have invited Jewish organizations that plan events for young adults around the Washington D.C. area to attend the beer garden and Shabbat, so they can tell graduating seniors about opportunities that are available to them post college. Organizations are also offering resources for students who are not planning on staying in the area, but are still looking to stay involved in, said Silva .

There will also be a barbecue at  Israel’s house on May 14 and May 15. Israel offered to host two events to ensure that any seniors who can’t make it Sunday can still come on Monday. Silva is excited for the weekend and said she expects between 50 and 75 students to attend.

Israel was unavailable for comment on the weekend’s plans.

Emily Baseman, a senior government and politics major, just landed a position as Innovation Specialist at Hillel at the University of South Carolina and is excited to attend a final event at this university’s Hillel.

“I’m planning on going to the barbecue with one of my close guy friends,” said Baseman. “I haven’t been too involved at Hillel here, but this position made me want to go.”

While this event is senior-related, all students are welcome.

Even if Hillel wasn’t your go to spot during your years at Maryland, we still hope that you will join us to meet new people, make connections, and of course nosh on some amazing food and drinks,” said Silva.

Sophomore hearing and speech major Rachel Colonomos is not planning on going to the event, but is excited to attend once she is a senior. While she knows a lot of seniors who are going, she explained that she doesn’t feel

“I think it would be nice being able to see all of the Hillel staff once more before you go,” said Colonomos.

Silva echoed this sentiment, saying that the staff at Hillel is always excited to commemorate the accomplishments of the students. While the event is open to all students, Silva suggests parents  wait until graduation weekend from May 19 to May 22, when there will be a Shabbat dinner and an open house, to visit.

Silva said graduating students can expect to receive free swag, including a Hillel cord, to wear at their graduation ceremonies. Silva hopes the event brings the senior community together one last time before they move on to the next portion of their life.

I hope that the culmination of these events will bring in as many seniors as possible,” said Silva, “and really be able to help them close a chapter knowing that this isn’t the end of their Jewish journey.”

Students should expect to find a place to take a deep breath and take in the end of their college journey, be connected to new opportunities in the Jewish world as young adults, and to celebrate with good food and good company,” she added.

Students can RSVP for the event here.


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