Hillel’s Grand Re-Opening
By Yishai Maynard

Group photo of student volunteers who spent their winter break beautifying the Hillel lounge by painting a mural of Israel.

This past Monday the Hillel showed everyone how the Student Union walls could look with a little bit of hard work and a lot of inspiration. Over winter break students as well as staff teamed up with artist Anna Polishchuk of USD Hagshama, a department of the World Zionist Organization, to paint the Hillel lounge.

The brainchild of the QC Hillel Israel Fellow Elit Goldberger, the students and staff worked day and night
for a week straight to get the job done. After many meetings to decide what should be painted, the team
decided to paint the walls with a mural of Israel.

When completed the project was called “Metulah to the Negev”(the northern part of Israel to the southern).
Scenes of Israel now cover the walls of the Hillel Lounge with each wall dedicated to a different part of
Israel: the mountainous north and Galilee, the city of Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, the sprawling Negev (desert), the
Dead Sea and the sun- soaked resort town of Eilat all have their own space and their own attitudes. Alex
Zulunov, said, “This painting project is a great way for students who don’t know each other to come
together. They create an atmosphere where students from all backgrounds can enjoy, relax and paint
a mural of Israel”.

Along with the painting, members of The Queens College Chapter of AEPi built a Coffee Bar and painted it
with the colors of their fraternity. This new project will be called “Cafe Hillel.” They will be serving lattes and cappuccinos during the coming semester.

Eli Weisblum, the president of AEPi said, “The bar is a great way to help the Hillel as well as promote AEPi activities and its return to campus. The Hillel has been imperative in helping us as a fraternity and as a group. Rabbi Shur, an AEPi alumnus, along with his amazing staff, have provided us with much, but above all a home”

The event on Monday drew many important people from the Jewish world in New York City. Ilan Wagner, the Emissary for the Jewish Agency for Israel, Ofer Gutman, Emissary to the Hagshama department, Ronnie Vinikov, Emissary to the Russian Community, Keren Rubenshtein, Emissary to the WZO, Naomi Hershman, the project manager for Hagshama and Meyrav Atar, Emissary to the Magshimim Organization were among the guests who came to see the beautiful work done to the Hillel.

During the event many awards were given out to all those who helped, including people who were involved in funding, those who helped with the actual painting, and those who just made the entire experience more enjoyable.