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Ski Retreat 2019 - Creating Memories, Friendships and Opportunities for Exploration

Feb 06, 2019
Maddie Anderson, a sophomore Advertising Major at UO
from Kansas City, Missouri, was one of 82 students who attended Oregon Hillel’s Ski retreat in Sun River this year. Maddie is a non-Jewish student at the University of Oregon and was encouraged to attend her first Hillel event by her friends who are active in Hillel. Maddie was motivated to go because she saw how passionate one of her friends is about this community and wanted to support her in something she cared so much about. She said that she had been inspired to go because she had heard about how much fun her friends had had at ski retreat the year before. 

“I had so much fun. I knew it was going to be a good time but I was not expecting it to be as fun as it was”. Maddie also felt very welcome and like she could talk to anyone. “I made friends with people I wouldn’t have met outside of this and felt like I made very strong friendships in just the three days we were there.” 

Maddie was nervous about the religious aspect but came in curious about Judaism and the culture surrounding it. “I just keep coming back to the word welcoming,” she says. She felt very accepted and comfortable despite not being Jewish. Maddie enjoyed making new friends along with getting to experience Judaism. “Hillel is a great community of people, you don’t get that instant connection with other groups”. 

Megan Weissman is a freshman from Oak Park, CA majoring in Business at the University of Oregon and after attending a couple of Shabbats at Hillel she came with us to ski retreat in Sun River! Megan heard about ski retreat from a friend so when the email went out for sign-ups, she decided to go. “I wanted to see more of Oregon because I haven’t really been off campus yet and I wanted to see the snow”.

Megan did BBYO and went on Jewish retreats growing up and was looking for a way to continue that connection to Judaism in college. “I liked the day trips to Bend and Sun River Village and I especially enjoyed the Israeli shuk!”. One of the nights student leaders & staff set up a shuk with Israeli food and desserts. To get sheckles you had to go to the ‘ATM’ where you answered questions about Israel to get money to spend at the market. 

Megan met new people and was able to bond with the friends she had already made at Hillel. “Hillel is good to have on campus as a place to meet other Jewish students. You know you can always go there and hang out with people with common interests, whether it’s for dinner or a full ski retreat.” Megan wants to keep coming back for more Hillel events and go on ski retreat again next year!

Ski Retreat truly is a a place for students to build their community, connect with other students and gain inspiration to continue or start their Jewish journey or exploration of Judaism.



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Oregon Hillel

1059 Hilyard Street
Eugene, OR 97401-3716
(541) 343-8920


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