Dance, sweets, charity at Hillel prom

Maria LaMagna

About 100 students rocked out to “Mambo No. 5” in tuxedos and other black and white apparel last Thursday at a Hillel formal, part of a new organizational emphasis on the social aspects of Jewish life.

The “Black and White” event, in Beth Hillel Synagogue ballroom in Wilmette, was co-sponsored by Uncle Dan’s and Underground Printing.

“It was cute,” said Rea Abrahams, a School of Education and Social Policy freshman who attended the event. “It reminded me of the bar mitzvahs we had in seventh grade.”

Abrahams said she has attended several Hillel events this year, including the beginning of the year Freshman Fest overnight.

McCormick junior Andrea Fraga, wholeads Hillel’s social team, which was created last winter, planned the formal.

These events aim to “help people form connections in Hillel … so that (it) becomes part of their social life at Northwestern,” Fraga said.

The dance featured a DJ, a dessert spread and an open bar for students at least 21-years-old, as well as some traditional Jewish dancing and old-school party hits such as “Brown Eyed Girl.” Tickets ranged from $18 to $20, depending on date of purchase and whether students were buying for a date. Purchases exceeded their goal, organizers said.

Proceeds from these ticket sales, after expenses, went to the Jewish United Fund. Organizers also held a raffle, which sold tickets for $1. The event raised a total of $250 for the charity, Fraga said.

The committee is considering hosting a similar event next year due to the strong turnout.

“It went pretty well,” Fraga said. “We’ll probably try to build off our success this year.”

Future social team events will include a bonfire with Hillel’s Israel-advocacy group, Wildcats for Israel, a bagel brunchs and an outing to the fall Jewish Theater Ensemble show called “Awake and Sing!”

Merrie Aaron, president of the NU Hillel’s Leadership Council said these events come from “a variety of different programming initiatives from student groups within Hillel.”

“I was very happy with the turnout,” the SESP junior added. “There were a lot of people there who seemed to be enthused and happy to be at the event. ”

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