Hillel Stories

Hillels of Memphis means many things to many people.

Hillels of Memphis Adapts for Students During Compromised Semester


Coronavirus caused a most unusual semester for students around the world, disrupting expectations and changing plans. But Hillels of Memphis adapted quickly and, with the support of Memphis Jewish Federation and its community of donors, positioned itself to carry on fueling Jewish life on campus by jumping online.


"The college years are so special, and missing a huge piece of a semester is an interruption no one could have seen coming," said Sophie Bloch, Director of Hillels of Memphis. "But because Memphis Jewish Federation has the support of donors in the community, Hillels of Memphis is in turn supported by Federation. We were able to move many of our programs online, and even found new creative ways to bring students together, even while socially distancing."

Jewish Life on Memphis Campusus: Hillel Fall Semester Review

I often joke that my job as the Director of Hillels of Memphis centers around feeding and caffeinating ravenous college students. On one hand, the work of Hillel does indeed fall back on the incredibly reliable Jewish tradition of coming together as a community around a delicious meal – there are few experiences in life as profoundly gratifying as providing a hot, home cooked meal to a busy student who otherwise survives on whatever the dining hall is serving. On the other hand, the delicate process of building trusted relationships so that Hillel isn’t just another place to eat is where the real magic of the work happens. READ THE FULL ARTICLE ON JCPCONNECT.ORG

My Jewish Connections on the Rhodes College Campus

Being Jewish has always been a huge part of my life. When I was younger, I attended Hebrew school. I made some of my favorite memories with my friends such as attending Bar and Bat Mitzvahs, going to the Holocaust museum, and making hamentaschen and challah. These memories have shaped me into the person I am today.

Going into college, I wanted Judaism to play a role in my life. I am thankful that I was offered the Jewish Community Fellowship at Rhodes College because it allowed me to continue to be part of the Jewish community far away from home. It also allowed me to attend my dream school where I could further my education, continue my softball career, be a sorority member of Alpha Omicron Pi, and intern at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. READ THE FULL ARTICLE ON JCPCONNECT.ORG

Hillels of Memphis Director Accepted to Prestigious Fellowship

Sophie Bloch, Director of Hillels of Memphis, has been accepted to participate in the 8th cohort of the Hartman Fellowship for Hillel Professionals during the 2020-2021 school year. The Fellowship brings together a select group of campus professionals from across North America and Israel for study of Israel’s central challenges. The Fellowship cultivates this group of elite leaders to think in values-based terms about Israel as a core element of Jewish life, and provides them with a set of tools to foster substantive and compelling conversations about and relationships with Israel. READ THE FULL ARTICLE ON JCPCONNECT.ORG

Hillels of Memphis Welcomes Sophie Bloch

When Jewish students begin classes at University of Memphis and Rhodes College this fall, Sophie Bloch will be at the forefront to help them navigate Jewish life throughout their college journey.

As Jewish Community Partners’ new Director of Hillels of Memphis and Director of Student Life, Sophie brings enthusiasm and personal knowledge. She comes to Memphis ready to share the positive experiences she gained while spending four years as a Hillel professional at the University of California, San Diego. There, her dedication and commitment was recognized as she worked her way up from travel counselor and marketing associate, to director of engagement and ultimately director of student life. READ THE FULL ARTICLE ON JCPCONNECT.ORG

Memphis Jewish Federation Announces New Rhodes Fellow

Memphis was not remotely on Tess Herzog’s radar as she searched for places to attend college.

“I was ready to go North East and get out of Tennessee,” said the Nashville native, Rhodes College freshman, and a recipient of a 2019-2020 Rhodes College Jewish Community Fellowship.

her high school college counselor told her about the Fellowship opportunity and how she’d be a great match for the program. “I knew a few kids from my high school in Nashville that were a couple of years older than me who attended Rhodes and have introduced me to their friends,” said Tess. READ THE FULL ARTICLE ON JCPCONNECT.ORG

Fellowship Helps Rhodes College Junior Explore Jewish Identity

Hello Memphis Jewish Community! My name is Yanai Almalem. I am a Jewish student lucky enough to be starting my Junior year at Rhodes  College this year.

In 2016, I was the first student to receive the Jewish Community Fellowship at Rhodes College thanks to Jewish Community Partners (JCP), which makes me the Senior Fellow!

Over the course of the past two years, my mind and my identity have been changed and reshaped by the college experience and coursework, as has my Jewish identity. The warm and welcoming Rhodes Hillel has been a huge part of that. READ THE FULL ARTICLE ON JCPCONNECT.ORG