Fellowships & Cohorts
Winter 2021 Cohorts
Northwestern Hillel is here for you, wherever you are!
We know that one of the hardest things right now is finding your people and connecting with them. We are happy to announce a dozen different ways for you to spend quality time with other Northwestern students that you have something in common with.
And yes, with classes (and, like all of life) on Zoom, it can feel like a LOT to join yet another zoom call. But this will not be just another Zoom call! Here’s a testimonial from someone who participated in one of our Fall cohorts:
“In a time that is so oversaturated with Zoom meetings, I genuinely looked forward to this session every week and was always surprised when the end rolled around!”
Use this page to explore our selection of cohorts, and click on the links to find the applications!
JLF: Life's Big Questions is for students looking to deepen their understanding of Judaism on their own terms. We’re interested in asking big questions. You know, the big stuff — like Who am I? What communities am I a part of? What is worth committing myself to, and why? And we don’t purport to have any of the big answers...certainly not for anyone else.
Facilitated by Ilana Bleich and Rabbi Jessica Lott, JLF: Life's Big Questions will meet on Wednesdays from 7:30-9pm. Participants receive a $300 stipend upon completion. Apply here.
JLF: Pursuing Justice is for students looking to deepen their understanding of Judaism and its relationship to social justice. How might Jewish tradition refract an ethos for the kind of commitments we want to make and the actions we want to take to improve our shared society? For whom are we responsible? What do we need to know about ethics, power, and action before we make those decisions? To address these enduring questions, we will look to classical and contemporary Jewish wisdom, to see what it might offer us as we work toward creating a more just world.
Facilitated by Lydia Greenberg and Rabbi Jessica Lott, JLF: Pursuing Justice will meet on Mondays from 5-6:30pm. Participants receive a $300 stipend upon completion. Apply here.
JLF: Sex, Love & Relationships is for students looking to deepen their understanding of Judaism and have the opportunity to speak about sexuality, intimacy, and self-care in a frank, open, and explicitly Jewish way. Can you love others if you don't love yourself? Does contemporary society assume a direct line from romance to marriage to parenthood? What is modesty in the context of human sexuality? What is immodesty? How are non-heterosexual relationships understood in the Jewish tradition? This course explores the ethics of human relationships and sexuality in the Jewish tradition.
Facilitated by Natalie Dibo and Emily Resnik, JLF: Sex, Love & Relationships will meet on Mondays from 5-6:30pm. Participants receive a $300 stipend upon completion. Apply here.
JLF: Big Israel Questions will build off your experience from JLF by asking some Big Questions related to Israel such as: How might Jewish tradition refract an ethos for the ways in which we engage with the concept of a shared homeland and living in and creating a morally just society for all? For whom are we responsible? What role do we play as authors of a highly personal, and also social-political chapter in history? What do we need to know about compromise and self-preservation? How might we live with intention and in tension with multiple truths? To address these enduring questions, we will look to classical and contemporary Jewish wisdom, to see what it might offer us as we work toward understanding peoplehood, engaging in constructive conflict, and living a life guided by Jewish values.
Facilitated by Michael Simon and Rachel Hillman, JLF: Big Israel Questions includes a $200 stipend upon completion. The cohort meets weekly on Tuesdays from 8-9:30pm beginning January 19. Apply here.
FYSH (or, First Year Students of Hillel) is a cohort entirely for first year students at Northwestern to make friends, learn new things, and create a Jewish community at the start of your college experience. By meeting weekly with fun activities, FYSH participants develop leadership skills and explore questions about being Jewish in college that allow them to launch into future Hillel and campus involvement. Sign up here.
Northwestern Hillel is launching a new juniors-only cohort, Sviv HaOlam (Around the World)! Over the course of the quarter, this group will explore Jewish communities from around the world (including Copenhagen, Mumbai, Buenos Aires, and more) and hear from college-age students in those global communities about their culture, traditions, challenges, and other aspects of their Jewish lives. These storytelling and reflection/based sessions will help cultivate a group of like-minded Northwestern juniors, introduce you to new friends around the world, and provide a space to think deeply about your own Jewish identity.
Participants will receive a $180 stipend upon completion of the quarter.
Due to the fact that we will be hearing from global Jewish communities directly and will therefore have to consider global time zones, Sviv HaOlam will meet on a weekday or Sunday some time between 10am and 2pm CT. Sign up here.
SYSH (Second Year Students at Hillel) is a cohort that provides a space for sophomores to engage in Jewish learning and to be together as a community. Each week, the group comes together to discuss different topics related to Judaism and current events. SYSH provides a designated time and space outside of class for second years to be with each other, which is especially important during these unprecedented times. Sign up here.
A "chavurah" is a group who comes together for learning, celebration, and friendship. The root of the word in Hebrew, chaver, connotes connection and companionship — thus a chavurah is a meeting point for people to connect and serve as companions for one another in times of joy or distress alike.
This seniors-only cohort will work to transition between college and the rest of your life. Led by Hillel staff, these conversation-based sessions will be places to meet new people, reconnect with old friends, and explore your Jewish identity during this transitional time.
The Class of 2021 Chavurah will meet on Fridays from 12:30-1:30pm. We'll eat lunch 'together'! Participants will receive a $200 stipend upon completion of the quarter. Sign up here.
If you're a first year that identifies as Jewish and has a passion for the arts (theatre, music, poetry, creative writing, drawing, journalism, etc.!), apply to be in the Jewish Arts Engagement Cohort! This will be a group that meets once a month where students can share creative pieces in any artistic medium that they believe highlights their Jewish experience or any aspect of their lives through a Jewish lens. We'll have a few presentations each month for the winter quarter, watch Jewish themed TV shows, listen to Jewish podcasts, read Jewish articles, and so much more! This is a super low time commitment and is meant for first years to find some sort of community amidst the estrangement of the pandemic on campus. Sign up here.
Join Northwestern Hillel and Columbia/Barnard Hillel, in partnership with Taube Heritage Tours, for an immersive virtual travel experience to Poland. We will visit Krakow, Warsaw, and other cities in Poland and learn about the vibrant Jewish life - past, present, and future - in Poland.
Weekly sessions will take place on Thursdays from January 21 to March 4 (11:30am-12:45pm CT/ 12:30-1:45pm ET), with a few optional Sunday sessions. Upon successful completion of the trip, participants will receive a $180 stipend. Sign up here.
Did you grow up eating your babushka’s borscht and celebrating Novy God with a beautiful yolka? We’re creating a space for Russian-speaking Jewish students to meet and discuss their shared culture, experiences, and history. You will design your own events together, focused on Russian-Jewish culture, food, and history, as well as the Russian language. Contact if you are interested and for more information.
A bi-weekly meeting for a small group of Jewish undergraduates living outside of Evanston during Fall Quarter 2020. This Chavurah focuses on creating a long-standing community in which to learn, grow, and have fun together. This cohort is already full for the Winter Quarter!