Hillel Milwaukee Israel campus fellow started Aug. 6.

 

MILWAUKEE – Shaked Ram’s cousin said to her, “You should do it.”

She’s a lifelong Israeli. Her cousin was a student at The University of North Carolina at Greensboro and he’d really gotten to know and appreciate his campus Israel fellow. Ram, having grown up in a town of about 800 families in central Israel, didn’t know anything about campus fellows in America or even Hillel. But she should do it.

Hillel did come up when she joined a Birthright trip, as Israel Defense Forces veterans will do for educational purposes. “I knew there is Hillel but I didn’t really know what it is,” she recalled. “It was on our nametags and that’s it.”

Now, Ram is the new Jewish Agency for Israel fellow to Hillel Milwaukee, funded by the Annual Campaign of Milwaukee Jewish Federation. She started Aug. 6. The spot was previously held by ​Pnina Ezra.

Ram studied abroad in Poland and she loves to bake. But her career has taken her to working with at-risk youth in Israel. She became interested in it while teaching logistics courses as a soldier in the IDF. Some of her students came from difficult backgrounds.

“I wanted to meet them before they go into the army,” she said. So she attended Beit Berl College and earned a degree in at-risk youth and special education.

Her time in Krakow, Poland was an eye-opener for her. There she met a Chabad family and saw how differently they live. She describes herself as a secular Israeli, having family dinners on the holidays. The diversity of Judaism was opened to her and she was becoming curious. Then, her cousin talked to her.

“He told me that there is Hillel in his campus. They’re all Jewish. They’re celebrating holidays. They’re promoting Israel and you should do it.”

So she applied, interviewed and now she’s here. Meet her and the rest of the staff at the Hillel Milwaukee Welcome Back BBQ on Labor Day, Sept. 3, 5-7 p.m., 3053 N. Stowell Ave.

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Hillel Milwaukee Welcome Back BBQ

  • Labor Day, Sept. 3, 5-7 p.m.
  • Hillel Milwaukee Joseph & Vera Zilber Building Hillel Student Center, 3053 N. Stowell Ave.
  • Hot dogs, hamburgers, tours and more
  • Free and open to the whole community
  • Students may meet at 3:30 p.m. at University of Wisconsin residence halls or at the Marquette University Center for Jewish Life, so they don’t have to come over alone.