Your latest update on Jewish student life at Penn State!
Parent and Alumni Newsletter - October & November
Hello Parents, Alumni, & Community Members - 

We hope that you are enjoying the beautiful fall weather, we sure are! A lot has happened on campus and we are excited to share it all with you! 

As always, feel free to reach out to us with any questions or concerns. Thank you for your continued you support of Jewish life at Penn State! 

We Are

-Penn State Hilllel
Campus Highlight | Resetting the Table

Last week students and staff participated in Hillel International's Resetting the Table. Resetting the Table (RTT) is an initiative that strives to build the capacity of American Jews to "talk, study, and deliberate together on Israel across differences in background and views. Through intensive training, skilled facilitation and institutional consultation, RTT aims to transform dominant norms of communication on Israel from avoidance and antagonism toward collaborative deliberation. A national initiative of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, Resetting the Table has no positional agenda. Rather, RTT seeks to build constructive and direct conversation on some of the most important and fraught issues facing the Jewish people."

While there, students and staffs worked together to create a poem that expressed their individual and collective relationship toward Israel and how they work to advocate and educate around Israel on campus. Below is their work: 

Resetting the Table Closing  - Penn State

Once upon a time…

A student started school at PSU.

He was just like me and you.

He was Jewish, he was cool .

But now he’s at a great big school.

Should I come to Hillel, should I go to Shabbat?

He asked himself quite a lot.

He went to Israel, the holy land.

He saw the ocean, he felt the sand.

Learned the history, talked to soldiers.

A weight was set on his shoulders.

Now he’s back in the USA

And there is so much he wants to say.

But who will listen, who will care?

He wants to talk, he wants to share.

He went to dinner with Hillel

To share the stories he’s eager to tell…

At Penn State we all realize

Not everyone views Israel through our eyes.

We hope to start meaningful talks

Pushing perspectives outside the box.

We want to understand where Penn State stands.

We want people’s differences to inspire our plans.

To learn more about Israel on campus, email Alona at or Lauren at

Fall Photos | Hillel Happenings
September 15, 2017: This year's annual tailgate was a huge success!
October 4-11, 2017: Sukkot on campus! ZBT helped build the sukkah for all of campus to enjoy. The participants of the Jewish Learners Fellowship (pictured first) hosted a beautiful dinner and discussion. 
October 20, 2017: Yallah Sports tackled Nittanyville and ESPN's College Game Day for the Michigan Game!
Alumni Spotlight | Dan Guthrie

Last year, Dan Guthrie took his 2nd grade class from Brooklyn to the Penn State basketball game. This year, he's at it again. 

From Dan's Go Fund Me Page: 

This year, it is my goal to raise $2,500 to bring my past four classes and their families—approximately 150 people!—to the Penn State game during the Legends Classic tournament at Barclays Center on November 21.  And if we can raise an additional $4,000 (for a total of $6,500), I am eager to plan another campus trip to State College.  All funds raised, even if we can’t meet one or both goals, will go towards subsidizing Penn State trips for my students.

If you are able to contribute, please help me continue to share the joy of a great University with the Penn State alumni of the future.  Every day I strive to inspire children who would not otherwise have a concept of higher education to pursue a college career—and hopefully, they choose Penn State.  

Support Dan's students here!
Upcoming Shabbat Services & Dinners: 
Foodie Shabbat
October 27th, 2017
5:30pm - 8:30pm
Pasquerilla Spiritual Center

Interfaith Shabbat 
hosted by the David Project
November 3rd, 2017
5:30pm - 6:30pm
Pasquerilla Spiritual Center
Leadership Opportunities | Applications Open

Student Executive Committee

We're looking for our next batch of passionate, driven, and dedicated leaders! The Penn State Hillel Executive Committee is committed to living out Penn State Hillel’s mission to enrich the lives of the estimated 5,000 Jewish students at Penn State so that they may enrich the world. Learn more about the positions and apply now through November 3rd. Applications are available here. Questions? Email current Student President, Sarah at

Student Life Committee

The Student Life Committee is a group of driven and passionate student leaders within Penn State Hillel. The group works together to plan innovative and engaging programming for all Penn State students. This group coordinates Penn State’s academic calendar and Jewish calendar with annual programming including Welcome Week, Shabbat and High Holidays events, and general social events. This committee works with staff members to receive in-depth leadership training and continued Jewish learning. This year-long commitment includes bi-weekly group meetings, several times for setting up/cleaning up Friday night Shabbat dinners, assistance in setting up High Holiday/Passover dinners, and general support and attendance at Hillel events throughout the year. The Jewish Student Life Committee seeks driven and passionate student leaders to create innovative and engaging Jewish programs for students on campus. Student Life Committee are responsible for general Jewish programming for High Holidays and Passover, but also social programs like Penn State’s Welcome Week to bring Jewish students together. Applications are available here. Questions? Email current Student President, Sarah at
November 6 | Holocaust Survivor Mark Schonwetter

The Penn State Jewish Studies department and Penn State Hillel are co-sponsoring for a Holocaust speaker to come share their story on campus! The event will take place in Worship Hall in the Pasquerilla Spiritual Center on November 6th, at 7pm. Doors open at 6:30pm.

Survivor Mark Schonwetter and his daughter Ann Arnold will both be there to share a story that is crucial for future generations to hear. Ann is the author of Together: A Journey for Survival, which is written about her father's journey through this very difficult time:

"Manek [Mark] was six years old when his world began to collapse. At first, his young eyes failed to see it, but reality came quickly into focus, when his loving gentle mother was forced to beat him in order to save his life. That is when he realized the Nazis wanted to kill him. Suddenly thrust into a new role as man of the house, would he be able to help keep his family safe? Was he strong enough to protect them? He knew only one thing ... they would survive if they could stay …TOGETHER.

In Together: A Journey for Survival, Ann Arnold shares her family's journey through Poland's countryside as a war of nations thunders around them. The story displays the magnificent strength of a mother's love and the incredible courage of good people during the worst of times."

There will be an opportunity at the end to ask the family any questions you may have! Please join us for this special event!

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