Madeline Dolgin is a modern community builder. But the once self-described “High Holiday Jew” didn’t always see herself that way.
Dolgin’s college Jewish journey began at New York University (NYU) where she participated in Hillel’s 10-week Jewish Learning Fellowship, a partner program of Mosaic United’s Campus Pillar. Through the program, she discovered a hidden passion for Jewish education.
Soon, Dolgin became a Hillel regular. Over the course of the next four years, she served as a student leader, honing many of the skills she would call upon as an emerging Jewish professional.
After graduation, Dolgin was accepted to Hillel’s Springboard Fellowship. The fellowship, another partner program of Mosaic United’s Campus Pillar, selects an elite cadre for a prestigious two-year program, geared to bringing talented young Jews to choose to work in the Jewish world.
In the most recent cohort of 25 fellows who graduated in June, 86% have already committed to or are actively exploring employment opportunities in the Jewish world.
As a Springboard Fellow at Arizona State University Hillel, Dolgin’s passion and creativity blossomed. She’s drawn newbies and Hillel regulars through initiatives as diverse as the Shmear Society, where students schmooze over bagels, and J-NET, a mentoring program which connects undergraduates with Jewish professionals in their career field.
Perhaps one of Dolgin’s most unique and far reaching projects is The Chosen One, a humorous Jewish card game. Despite the light-hearted nature of The Chosen One, it has a deeper purpose, Dolgin said. The game naturally sparks conversations about Jewish practices and identity without the pressure of a formal, educational programming.
“It’s not just a Jewish game; it’s a way to facilitate Jewish experiences in a meaningful, educational way,” she said. “Hillel really prepared me to do that.”
Dolgin sums up her experience as a fellow as one about making Judaism approachable and welcoming. “My Springboard Fellowship taught me how to simplify, adapt, and merge Jewish values that are relevant to our secular lives and our Jewish lives…. Our programs helped students engage with their Judaism in an accessible way.”
To read more about Dolgin’s experience as a Springboard Fellow, visit the Hillel Springboard website.
To learn more about Mosaic’s Campus Pillar, visit the Campus Pillar page.