“I choose KU because that’s where the Jews from Minnesota go,” Held said. “KU was the school I felt that I could go and create my own life. It was a place I felt I could live a Jewish life and move a tad south to escape the miserable Minnesota winters.”
Upon graduation, Held was hired at the University of Minnesota Hillel as an Engagement Associate. He said he wanted to work at Hillel because he felt that he could improve Jewish life at the University of Minnesota by implementing what he had learned as an engagement intern at KU Hillel.
“Coming from KU I saw an amazing Hillel in action,” Held said. “When I think back to my time in college I see the possibilities of what a strong Hillel and Jewish campus community can offer. I want my home state to have that and I want to help bring it here.”
Held said that being involved with KU Hillel provided him with every tool for his current job and that the work he did as an intern completely prepared him to succeed in his role.
“Before my time here, we did not have an engagement agenda in the least bit. Over the past year I have brought what I learned at KU to our community. The idea of reaching students where they are, and being out of the building and on campus were foreign to the Hillel UMN. KU taught me all of these concepts and ideas.”
Through working for Hillel UMN, Held has had the opportunity to staff two Birthright trips. He said the experiences were both incredible and interesting. His past experiences in Israel centered on his own personal growth, but on these trips his focus was on the growth of forty students and helping them to have a life-changing experience.
Held said that his current position has reassured him that he wants to continue the rabbinate and Jewish communal work in the future.
“I have learned a great deal of what it is like working in the community and have met so many amazing and interesting people,” he said. “Working at Hillel and in the Jewish community has reinforced that this is the correct path for me.”
This summer Held is attending a four-week intensive Jewish learning experience at the Jewish Theological Seminary’s Nishma program. Following the program, he plans to come back for another year at Hillel before attending rabbinical school in the fall of 2015 at Hebrew College in Boston.