Meet Erin Sullivan

Growing up in Carroll County where there were not that many Jews, Erin Sullivan always felt fortunate that she could develop a strong connection to Judaism.

For years, she went to Camp Ramah, a Jewish overnight camp in the Poconos, and as a teenager attended Beth Tfiloh Dahan Community Day School.

So it seemed only natural that when she stepped onto the campus at the University of Maryland, College Park, she knew that Judaism would play an important part in her college career. Hillel seemed like the perfect place to start.

In her first weeks, she was asked to become a Hillel Fellow, planning activities to engage the Jewish freshman who lived on North Campus. From her first bagel brunch to a Matzoh pizza making party, she made sure the events were fun and provided an environment for Jewish freshmen to network and meet new people.

When it came time to join a sorority, Erin decided not to choose a traditional Jewish one, but she knew that her involvement in Hillel would keep her connected. Whether it’s through Shabbat dinners, Israel Fest or a Yom HaShoah event, she found ways to have fun with students from across the Jewish spectrum.

But Erin recognized that not everyone she met has such a strong Jewish identity. Hillel, she feels, lets Jewish students feel connected in ways that are meaningful to them. And, she tells anyone, Hillel is a great way to meet other Jewish friends. It’s a warm, inviting atmosphere makes a large campus like Maryland feel a little more intimate.

“On a college campus like Maryland,” she says, “you can go from point A to B without seeing anyone you know. Hillel is a tight-knit environment where you can hang out with old friends, or meet new ones. You may become close with someone who went to camp with a friend of yours or spent gap year with your cousin.”

“Hillel gives students an opportunity to be involved with Jewish life on campus,” she adds. “They meet you where you are in your Jewish journey.”

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