Removing the Pork from the Altar; Chai Line, TOEFL, & Other Things

So I may have a job other than the one I was applying for this morning; I ran into the new director of Hillel, a Jewish Professional, an Adult, a Mother with three college aged children as opposed to the former disgrace who was eventually run out of town. I’ve been helping her get setup and have been giving her the lay of the land; apparently before I introduced myself in the book they gave her of ‘need to know information’ my name and number was listed as ‘essential contact’ which is understandable, because I really do know everyone on this campus. If this were prison, I’d be a fixer.

I asked her if Hillel was hiring, and she said “Yes, Graduate assistants…” I said “What about sixth year students…” and she said “what did you have in mind…” and I told her about Chai Line (the project I wanted to start last year, which died by committee the moment Jordan looked at it) and she almost cried; so I have an interview with her tomorrow at 11a. For your reading pleasure, here’s the formal proposal for Chai Line which I hope will become a national Hillel Initiative because it’s so incredibly simple and has the potential to be incredibly powerful:

Chai Line (Life Line) Program Description:

The goals of the Chai Line are simple and can be condensed into one sentence: “To be there.”

Often times on a college campus, students are confronted with a myriad of problems which they have never before encountered. Often they can feel lost in a wave of change. Chai Line will be their life boat and their lighthouse; we’ll be there making sure they get home safe at night and we’ll be the hands that carry them when they cannot walk themselves.

Our reasons for doing this are simple: whenever there have been times of need, our people have relied on each other; turning to one another for a helping hand and because of this, we have survived even the most harrowing storms. Wherever a Jew sees a Mezuzah they know they have safe voyage, a place to sleep and a meal to eat – this is not only our duty, but our commandment.

There’s no reason why students who aren’t feeling well or who are facing challenges in their life should ever have to face these challenges alone, scared, in deafening silence. There is no reason that they shouldn’t have their family to support them. In this light, Chai Line will be the one still voice saying “We’ll get through this…” even in the darkest hours of the night.

“עם אחד” – we are one, indeed our survival as a people depends on it.

If you’re sick we’ll bring you soup and keep you company. If you need a ride home or feel unsafe at a party, reach out to us and we’ll come and get you – no questions asked – and escort you home. You don’t have to explain yourself to anyone and no one will judge you – we just want to make sure you get home safe. Need medical attention? We’ll refer you to a Jewish doctor who can take care of you and if you can’t afford the visit, we’ll work with the doctor to see if we can reduce or eliminate the cost. Need condoms? We’re realists and above all else we want you to be safe: we’ll make sure you get some. Facing anti-Semitism on campus? We’ll connect you with someone who can help with our network of Adult Jewish Professionals who will advocate for you, on your behalf.

We will work to continually embody what Chai truly means and to become the life line for students on campus – a place that students can come to when they are having any problem and know that they will be safe and treated with dignity and respect. By helping students, we’ll teach them how to help others and how to help themselves and empower them to become future leaders of our Jewish Community.

No Jew is ever alone, especially in Buffalo.

B’Shalom,

Matan Ar’ye Schwartz
matan@nomadmatan.net

So I’m meeting with her at 11am. I have to print out my Resume and iron my suit, but it would be nice to have an ‘office’ type job, where I can make a difference during the day and then slip into jeans at night and do condom drops on the weekend, get the local Krav school to hold self defense classes and it’s not an expensive program: Avery business cards to put the chai line (life line) number on, a cell phone, a couple of pagers for the chai line workers (dirt cheap at this point); and a database (glances in the general direction of gryvon).

We’ll see where it goes (but please keep your fingers crossed), I’m really hoping that this works out.

In other news, there’s a combined TESOL/TEFL/TESL certificate course being offered in Buffalo at Canisius College that I’m hoping to attend. It’s $995.00, 60 hours in-class training over six days (Saturday/Sunday for three weeks); and it would be really nice to graduate with my both my B.A. in Linguistics and the TESOL/TEFL/TESL Certificate as an added credential. I’ve asked my parents for this instead of a computer for my graduation gift, this has the potential to earn me much more money in the long run.

In other news, dinner soon. I’ll catch everyone on the flip side.

Peace