Hillel Montreal's alternative break programs are service-learning trips addressing social justice issues of the host community and learning about these issues through a Jewish lens. This means you can expect to partake in at least 25 hours of service (hands on volunteering), and at least 10 hours of learning (group style discussion and reflection).

Hillel Montreal Mission Statement:
Our mission is to enrich the lives of Jewish students through meaningful points of engagement so they may enrich the Jewish people and the world.

Hillel Montreal Alternative Breaks (AB) can be a one or two-week program for college-aged / university students organized in collaboration with partner organizations. Participants explore the connections between social justice, service and Judaism through education and hands-on volunteer work.

5 components of an Alternative Break trip:

1)    Community-Driven Service
We cooperate with communities on issue identification; we also work collaboratively on project implementation, continuous evaluation, and regular improvements.

2)    Deliberate Learning - Study/Curriculum
One of alternative breaks core assumptions is that context matters. We cooperate with community members and organizations to educate participants about local culture, local concerns, and local assets.

3)    Intercultural Immersion and Cross-Cultural Exchange
Alternative breaks encourage connections across cultures. Through cooperative service efforts, deliberate local learning, and in some cases, homestays, The alternative break experiences ensure deep learning about cultural assumptions, worldviews, and of course the concerns and happiness that we all hold in common.

4)    Consideration of Global Citizenship
Alternative breaks invite all participants to reflect on fundamental human equality and how we might each work to build a world where human life is treated more equally across traditional cleavages of ethnicity, nation, class, or gender. Consideration of personal, political, and economic opportunities for enacting global citizenship provides

5)    Reflective Inquiry
The questions we face when engaged in intercultural service around the world are often difficult. And it can be challenging to stay connected to global civic engagement after a short-term experience. We believe strongly that it is important to continue asking: What is service? How have I learned from others’ cultures? What do I understand better about my own? How can I value others around the world, even from my home? What are the ways I can be a good global citizen right here?

Participants should expect the following:
•    The unexpected
•    An intense and authentic cultural experience
•    Community-based service work
•    Fun recreational activities
•    Challenging debate and rigorous coursework
•    The opportunity to try new things
•    Meeting new and different people
•    A knowledgeable site director
•    A flexible learning and working environment
•    Personal reflection
•    A powerful and realistic examination of service
•    More questions than answers