28 July 2013

Looking Forward to Hillel Institute!

Tomorrow, the annual Hillel Institute begins, once again at the beautiful Washington University campus in St. Louis.  

According to Weather.com, it should be the coolest Hillel Institute ever

1) Of course, being at big Jewish conferences is great and I love the energy at them generally (yes, it's one of the reasons I wanted to become a rabbi).  Hillel Institute is no exception and I'm looking forward to being around such an interesting mix of people and energy, looking forward to another year of serving this particular demographic of the Jewish people.

2) The first two years of Hillel Institute, the weather in St. Louis was in the 90s and 100s (and quite humid!).  Last year's temperatures were cooler - only in the 80s.  This year, it's supposed to be even cooler - in the 70s (okay, and a little in the 80s)!

3) No kids with us for the first time ever!  The first two we brought one child each and both of ours last year.  Although the babysitting services were sadly inadequate the first two years, Hillel stepped up their game last year.
Most of the YCT guys at last year's Hillel Institute

4) Another opportunity to get together with fellow YCT alumni, as usual.  Not only is it great to see fellow YCT alumni shine, but this year, we're planning on actually meeting up!

I remember there being some really yummy food served last year and the food services of WUSTL running a real quality operation there.  I'm looking forward to some more great food :)

6) No more track sessions!  For the first three Hillel Institutes, we had these sessions that, somehow, were not that great.  I am optimistic that changing this core piece of the professional development aspect will be an improvement.

7) The new Beach Hillel programming associate will be there and we will be meeting him for the first time and it will be an interesting opportunity to discuss SoCal and Hillel.

Just like last year, the officially designated hashtag for Hillel Institute is #HillelInstitute

8) Even more tweeting!  I've enjoyed the tweeting every year.  Although 2010's Hillel Institute was  lacking tweeting-wise, it improved in 2011, and there was more last year, as well.  Hopefully, there will be some great tweeting going on.

8) Meeting Eric Fingerhut, the new President of Hillel, a fellow Ohioan!

I plan on going and enjoying the conference.  Although part of that includes not having children with us (see above), it also includes enjoying the hanging out at the great socializing opportunities provided.  Also, I shouldn't be posting any controversial blog posts of mine going up, getting me in some hot water, as has happened two of the past three years. 

10) Knowing about the fitness center, albeit little/no time in the schedule to exercise, but I will see what I can do....

 Well, my flight leaves out of LAX in 15 hours, so now on to packing....  
(You can follow along my journey on twitter.)

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