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ALTERNATIVE BREAK TRIPS

Are you interested in learning about and engaging in direct service connected to social issues here in the US and abroad?

Join JRP for a week away from campus (locations vary year-to-year, see below) where participants will engage in direct service work, learn and reflect about the experience, integrate into the community, meet with inspiring community members and guest speakers, and participate in Shabbat and other Jewish experiences.

 
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ALLIANCE AND UNDERSTANDING PROGRAM

Alliance and Understanding Program (AU) is a program that teaches students about the fight for equality through the Civil Rights Movement and the roles that the African American community and the southern Jewish community played in that fight. As part of the program, you will participate in a retreat, attend a series of lectures and get to know the other participants through bonding activities. This culminates in an alternate Spring Break trip to Georgia and Alabama, where you will get a chance to walk through history, speak with individuals who lived through it, visit historical sites, and become inspired by those who continue to fight for justice and equality today.

Lectures and bonding activities will be held for participants weekly in advance of the trip starting in the Spring. The Spring Break trip dates will be announced soon.  Students will contribute a modest fee of $150 towards the trip (scholarships available); airfare, all meals, transportation, and accommodations will be provided.

The application is not yet live, and we encourage you to consider AU for your 2020 Spring Break!

For questions and to apply, email Allison Sorgeloos.

 
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MORAL VOICES FELLOWSHIP FOR RWANDA

The mission of Moral Voices is to create a greater sense of community and understanding between students from different religious and ethnic groups in order to foster future leaders who will help build a more just, tolerant, and peaceful society.
Moral Voices is a year-long interfaith and inter-ethnic service learning Fellowship that will bring together 15 Penn students to explore the dynamics of cultural and ethnic violence as well as strategies for their elimination. Fellows will break down the social, cultural, and religious barriers that often separate students. Additionally, the student fellows will engage 450 students in dialogue through educational programming that will take place throughout the 2020 spring semester.
The cornerstone of this program is a 10 day service trip to the Agahozo Shalom Youth Village (ASYV) in Rwanda to work with children who were orphaned during the Rwandan genocide. The trip includes the following:

  • Service work with children living in the youth village.

  • An intensive learning curriculum focusing on structured interfaith/inter-ethnic dialogue and reflective conversations, developed by Penn Hillel in partnership with the educators at the ASYV.

  • Tours around key areas of Rwanda to learn about the history and culture of the country as well as the genocide, coordinated by ASYV educators and tour guides.

The trip to Rwanda will be part of a year-long initiative that includes four distinct elements.

  1. Pre-trip learning:  Student fellows will meet weekly on Wednesdays from 5:30-7:00pm beginning January 17th to engage in interfaith/inter-ethnic dialogue, learn about Rwanda, and to explore the deeper issues of genocide and ethnic violence.  

  2. Fundraising: Student fellows will raise $5,000 (collectively) on behalf of ASYV through a variety of methods.

  3. Campus Engagement:  Student fellows will create a variety of educational events throughout the year to reach an additional 450 students.

  4. Post-Trip Follow-Through:  Upon their return to campus, student fellows will create a sustainable initiative that further advances the mission of this initiative as stated above.

The cost per student is $950, including airfare, room and board, travel within Rwanda (limited need-based scholarships are available). Additionally, students will be responsible for arranging transportation to the selected airport for departure, and for necessary vaccines prior to travel.

For questions and to apply, email Sofy Maxman.

 
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ENCOMPASS FELLOWSHIP

Encompass is a ten-day educational trip to Israel, bringing together students of diverse backgrounds in order to build bridges between groups that are not often in direct dialogue, and to gain a deeper understanding of the real complexities of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Encompass fellows will meet with leaders, thinkers, activists, artists, and regular citizens of Israel and the West Bank, deepening their appreciation for both peoples' narratives. Following the trip, Encompass fellows will engage their campus social networks through public events and dialogue intended to promote a more nuanced, informed and thoughtful dialogue about Israel on campus. 

The Encompass fellowship is comprised of three distinct elements.

  1. Pre-trip learning: Student fellows will meet bi-weekly to engage in dialogue and to learn about the history, culture, and politics of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Special emphasis will be given to helping students gain new skills that will enable them to think critically and independently about the deeper complexity of the surrounding issues.

  2. The Encompass Israel Educational Experience: - Students will participate in a transformative educational experience in Israel that explores the complex history, politics, and culture that helped form the modern state of Israel. The program will include visits to the essential landmarks and holy sites that make headlines and that have the power to reveal the deepest and most comprehensive understanding of Israeli and Palestinian territories.

  3. Post-trip Campus Engagement: Encompass fellows will create a variety of campus events, one-on-one conversations, and group dialogues throughout the year to reach an additional 200 students. Events will be designed to create opportunities for students to engage with new voices and new perspectives on Israel and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.


The application deadline has passed for the 2020 Fellowship. For questions, or to be alerted when applications open for the Summer 2021 Fellowship, email Rabbi Gabe.

 
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PENN IN POLAND

The Penn in Poland fellowship explores the vibrancy and complexity of past and present Jewish relationships with Poland. We aim to examine how Jews lived, and continue to live, in Poland, and how the largest Jewish population center in the world during the early 20th Century continues to influence global Jewish identity today.

Penn in Poland experiential goals: 

  • To explore historical Polish-Jewish life.

  • To provide an authentic look into contemporary Polish and Polish-Jewish life.

  • To grapple with how and why Jewish life and history in Poland shapes Jewish identity today.

  • To process and reflect on the responsibility and legacy of the Holocaust in Jewish memory.

  • To understand European Jewish culture in the context of Jewish memory.


Penn in Poland includes:      

  • Weekly learning and community building, including Shabbat dinners, Monday nights January - March 2020.

  • Spring Break trip to Poland, March 7-14, 2020.

  • Learning about the Emanuel Ringelblum Archive of the Warsaw Ghetto.

  • Personal reflection and contribution to an emerging leadership experience for U.S. college students as Oneg Shabbat Ambassadors.

  • Peer-to-peer student engagement to process and promote lessons from the experience.

  • Culminating project, coordinated and convened by students, on or around Yom Hashoah/Holocaust Memorial Day.


The central role of Penn in Poland fellows will be to serve as Oneg Shabbat Ambassadors. The Oneg Shabbat Program was founded by Emanuel Ringelblum Jewish Historical Institute and the Association of the Jewish Historical Archive of the Warsaw Ghetto and to commemorate the members of the Oneg Shabbat group. The Oneg Shabbat group preserves the memory of Jews imprisoned in the Warsaw Ghetto through intellectual resistance. Their work, the Underground Archive of the Warsaw Ghetto, is the most important testimony of the Holocaust. 

The cost per student is $900, and includes airfare, room and board, and travel within Poland. Student will be expected to cover about one meal per day during the trip. Limited need-based scholarships are available. 

The Penn in Poland Hillel trip is a partnership between Penn Hillel and the Jewish Historical Institute. 

For questions and to apply, email Ira Blum.