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The Nachshon Initiative

“If you will it, it is no dream.” -Theodor Herzl

When is the last time you jumped in with both feet for something you believed in? Have you ever wished to see something new or improved in the WashU Jewish community but didn’t know how to make it happen? The Nachshon Initiative is a new program with new opportunities to allow any student to create Jewish programs on campus - a way to help you connect to your roots in ways most meaningful to you.

In the Exodus story, Moses led the Jewish people out of slavery chased by the Egyptian Army until their path was blocked by the Red Sea. With Moses at the shoreline, and the Jewish people angry, afraid, and confused, Nachshon ben Aminadav jumped right into the sea. As tradition holds, the moment the water reached his head the sea split, allowing the Jewish people to cross safely to dry land. It took this first leap of faith to create a massive change for his community. Nachshon recognized a need and took it upon himself to create the opportunity he saw was needed.

WashU Hillel is looking for students who embody Nachshon’s spirit, who wish to dive into creating their vision of Jewish life on campus. As a Nachshon Intern, you will apply with a vision of a community or initiative you wish to advance (i.e. building a tight-knit Jewish community within your sorority or a Kabbalah-inspired meditation group), and receive intensive support from Hillel and your fellow Interns to turn that vision into a reality. A select group of Nachshon Interns, with past experience as Hillel leaders, will serve on the Nachshon Va'ad, to support first-time Interns and manage the distribution of Nachshon Grants, in which any student can apply for up to $300 to fund a Jewish program.

The Nachshon Internship is a paid year-long internship - you can participate for one year, or for four! Stay on as long as you’d like, or take a break and join us again in the future.

Application Timeline

The application is open!
Interviews and acceptances will be conducted on a rolling basis, so please apply ASAP!

Nachshon Intern Responsibilities for Fall 2018:

  • Play: Have a blast at the Nachshon Internship Retreat on Labor Day Weekend - Saturday evening 9/1 through Monday afternoon 9/3. 
  • Learn: Pick a 12-week Jewish learning class from 2-3 offerings taught by Hillel staff to further your Jewish knowledge. Class times will be based on your schedule, to allow flexibility.
    • Time commitment: About 1 hour a week
  • Collaborate: Meet with a small group your fellow interns and receive program support from the Nachshon Internship advisor (Miriam), and with your Va'ad mentor twice a semester
    • Time commitment: About 1 hour every other week
  • Program: Plan four meaningful programs to connect your community to each other and their Judaism, whatever that means to them! *Note: This is a flexible requirement that can be reconfigured based on Interns' focus.
    • Time commitment: Assuming you use 4 hours to plan each event, that breaks down to about 1 hour a week event planning
  • Connect: Take 15 students participating in your programs to coffee (on Hillel) to learn more about their experiences. *Note: This is a flexible requirement that can be reconfigured based on Interns' focus.
    • Time commitment: ~1 hour a week 
  • Total Time Commitment: 3-4 hours a week
  • Stipend: $500 per semester

Nachshon Va'ad (Committee) Responsibilities

  • Must have held a leadership position in Hillel or been a BEAR Fellow to qualify. All regular Nachshon Intern responsibilities above, plus the below.
  • Inspire: Oversee implementation of Nachshon Grants, giving any student the opportunity to apply for up to $300 to create Jewish programs. 
    • Run grant publicity, application, review, & implementation in meetings every other week with the Va'ad
  • Mentor: Meet first-time Nachshon Interns for mentorship twice a semester
  • Total time commitment: 5-6 hours a week for all Nachshon Internship responsibilities
  • Stipend: $600 per semester

Ready to jump in?? Click here to start your application!