The following is a reflection of Alternative Spring Break with Hillel. It was written by Valerie Gorbushin, CSUSM 2018, current CSUSM Hillel Co-President
Hillel has been able to give many amazing opportunities throughout my college experience. The most recent one was going on my Alternative Spring Break trip (ASB) to New Orleans. This was my first ASB trip and I absolutely loved it! I not only got to surround myself with students who share my same beliefs, but also able to give back. During my ASB trip we worked with two organizations RHINO and Habitat for Humanity. We were able to help weed at a local garden, and help rebuild two porches for a family who was affected by Hurricane Katrina. I was able to learn how to use different tools, and the process of how to build a sturdy porch. I never realized how important porches are to residents there. To them a porch is safety, people sit outside their homes on their porches and get to know their neighbors. This is done for safety as well, everyone knows everyone, and they look out for one another from danger. The stories that residents that were affected by Hurricane Katrina shared with us really made me feel grateful to live where I do. I was happy I was able to build a front and back porch for the family that was affected. It was amazing to bond with fellow Jewish students and be able to strengthen my Jewish identity. My New Orleans ASB trip was an amazing experience and I highly recommend students participate in trips like this if they get the chance!