April 10, 2024
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Rutgers Newark Hillel Camels Steal the Show on Yom Ha’atzmaut

(Courtesy of Rutgers Newark Hillel E-board) When this year’s student world’s fair was scheduled to be on the same day as Yom Ha’atzmaut, the Rutgers Newark Hillel knew they had to do something big.

Learning from past experience, the students understood the challenges that can often arise when you involve the topic of Israel on a college campus, but they were determined not to let that get in the way of putting on a worthy celebration for Yom Ha’atzmaut.

The World’s Fair is an annual event that showcases student cultural groups representing their countries and heritage by sharing their unique foods and traditions and hosting fun interactive activities. Some of the activities at this year’s fair included henna tattoos, turban tying, necklace making, dance performances, inflatables and, of course, lots of different food.

However, there was only one thing at the fair that captivated everyone’s attention, and that was the mommy and baby camel right next to the religion tent, where Rutgers Newark Hillel was stationed, representing Israel.

Months before, the Hillel students began planning their tent, wondering how they could elevate this year’s fair that coincided with Yom Ha’atzmaut, and also mitigate negative interactions.

Then suddenly, the idea struck. The answer was… a camel.

Co-president Adina Pinsker explained, “My reasoning behind the idea was simple. It is impossible to hate on the group who has a baby camel! Who could harass you when you brought the baby camel? He who wields the camel shall win the day!”

All of the attention was positive; Hillel got amazing feedback from people. The students left that day feeling like a million bucks and everyone had so much fun.

Aside from the camels, Hillel also had other fun activities happening in their tent. There was an Israeli Doritos bar where students could try the different flavors of Israeli Doritos and guess the flavor. They also gave out blue and white cupcakes and cookies, and to their surprise, every last one was gone by the end. Another hit was the fresh potato kugel that Hillel served. “People kept coming back asking for more kugel,” said Hillel co-president Miriam Brickman.

For anyone wondering where one can find a camel to rent, these camels came from the great Rose Bridge Farm & Sanctuary in Dresher, Pennsylvania. The staff was very friendly and helpful.

After such an amazing and positive event, the only question on everyone’s minds is, “How can they top this next year?”

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