As a recent college graduate watching many of my friends head back to school, I’ve been reminiscing about all my incredible experiences at the University of Kansas.
My four years as a student were transformative beyond any of my expectations: I forged lasting friendships, explored my Judaism to new depths, and had time and space to truly get to know myself. From big Hillel events and working at the Reform Jewish summer camp, to staffing youth group events and learning how to make my own Shabbat dinner for friends, opportunities abounded from my friends and me to live Jewish lives of excitement, meaning, and, most importantly, fun.
In my new role as the Union for Reform Judaism’s inaugural Presidential Fellow for Millennial Engagement, I’m excited to spend the year strengthening the URJ’s presence on campus and our support for Jewish college students. During the past few weeks, I’ve traveled to St. Louis for the Hillel Institute and Ft. Lauderdale for the AEPi International Convention to connect with students and learn more about their thoughts, dreams, and concerns about being Jewish on campus. For so many Jews, finding a connection to Judaism on campus can raise many questions:
With so many questions to sift through, it’s no wonder many college students struggle to meaningfully connect with Jewish life on campus – but I believe this year is an incredibly exciting time to be Jewish on campus. Though many students may be missing their hometown youth group, congregation, or summer camp as the school year begins, there are plenty of exciting and unique ways for college students to explore Judaism and expand their connection to the Jewish community.
Like I said, it’s a pretty incredible time to be Jewish in college. I hope this school year is one of meaningful learning, exploration, and growth - and I want to be there to help. Please know that throughout this year, I am only an email away with any questions, concerns, or ideas about Jewish life on campus. It’s literally my job to connect with you and provide any support possible, so let’s make sure you have a great and Jewishly connected year on campus!