A Week in the Life Of: Mardi Caminer

We often talk about how dynamic and committed our students are, and nothing can bring that to life more than looking at a typical week in the life of a Hillel student leader. It shows how much Hillel permeates not just their Jewish life, but their entire campus experience as well.

Sunday, 5pm Panama Plans

Mardi is thrilled to be traveling this March on Hillel’s Aviv Spring Break trip to Panama!

At the first group orientation, she hears more about what the trip will include: exploring Panama and learning about Central America’s history; celebrating Shabbat with the Jewish community of Panama City; hiking in the rainforest and visiting the Panama Canal, and leaving a mark in the Jewish community through service activities.

Tuesday, 11am Birthright Recruiting

Last winter, Mardi went to Israel on Birthright with the organization Shorashim, and now she’s eager to help spread the word on campus. Hillel is partnering with Shorashim to bring Vanderbilt students to Israel for an incredible, free ten-day Birthright trip.

Today Hillel’s Birthright table is outside of Rand Dining Hall, a main corridor on campus, and Mardi is talking to students who are potentially interested in this amazing opportunity to experience Israel.

Wednesday, 8pm Board Meeting

Hillel’s Programming Board — known as “ProBo” for short — meets regularly to plan social, cultural (and culinary!) experiences for the larger Hillel community and beyond.

At this week’s meeting, ProBo members are discussing plans for potential programs: a rockin’ Purim party, a kosher food truck during a tailgate, community service options on-and-off-campus, and a Sunday bagel brunch complete with cream cheese and lox.

Thursday, 4pm Challah Baking

Mardi is also an avid member of Vanderbilt Hillel’s Challah for Hunger chapter. (Challah for Hunger is a national organization with individual chapters at college campuses across the country.)

Mardi and other students meet every other week to make challah from scratch and sell it on campus, with proceeds from the challah sales going directly to hunger organizations like Mazon: A Jewish Response to Hunger and The Nashville Food Project.

Friday, 5:30pm Shabbat

This year, Mardi has begun to lead Conservative services at Hillel on Friday nights. Services are completely student-run every week, and Mardi is proud to have a hand in helping Jewish life thrive on campus — in fact, she’s also a board member of Hillel’s student Religious Life Committee (RLC).

After services, everyone stays for a delicious Shabbat dinner made by Goldie Shepard and underwritten in part by NCJW, Nashville Section. It’s a time to relax, to catch up with friends, and to reflect on both the week that’s just passed, and the rest of the exciting year ahead.