The campuses have been and continue to be hubs of activity with programming stretching from Elul through Simchas Torah. Selichos and davening are just the tip of the iceberg. Following is just the smallest sample of some of the things going on under the guidance of our JLIC campus couples.
• The University of Toronto partnered with the YU’s Torah m’Tziyon Beit Midrash for a Tzom Gedaliah break-fast. Students visited a local nursing home on Rosh Hashana.
• Rabbi Ben Greenberg of Harvard gave a Shabbat Shuva shiur on the topic of “The Ties that Bind Us: The Limits and Possibilities of Tochacha and Communal Teshuva” to the campus’ Hillel community. He and Sharon also hosted the entire observant Harvard community who were in town for Rosh Hashana for a Yom Tov lunch in their home.
• JLIC Illinois hosted a Motzei Shabbat Slichot and Melava Malka in addition to a Tzom Gedaliah davening and break -fast. The JLIC Illinois student board organized a pre-Rosh Hashana apple-picking excursion with honey-tasting and divrei Torah. They also held communal tefillah for Gilad Shalit on the quad.
• U Mass trained 10 new student mashgichim to help in the Hillel kitchen. Students attended a pre-selichos discussion program on the process of forgiveness and how to move beyond conflict. Rabbi Yehoshua Zuber of Brookline served as a visiting scholar-in-residence, speaking, leading a tisch, and hold a Q&A session for the students.
• Rabbi David and Sara Wolkenfeld of Princeton hosted nearly 30 incoming freshmen and their families for Shabbat dinner in their home (and provided Shabbat lunch for them at the Hillel building) before the kosher dining hall had opened for the semester. Both new and returning students attended a shiur on “Introduction to Halakhic Life on Campus.” A five-week Lunch & Learn series “Studies in the Great Torah Commentaries” began with a class exploring the personality and interpretive agenda of Rashi.
• Between 60 and 80 students attended selichos each night at Brandeis; well over 100 participated on the first night. Among other activities, a challah-baking program was held for men and a brunch-and-learn program for women. The Beit Midrash was renovated over the summer, leading to an Open House and Rededication program.
• NYU’s Tuesday-night learning program called MEAT (Meet, Eat, And Torah) hosts over 100 students. 150 attended a pre-selichot kumzits. Other regular activities include a daf shiur, a girls’ parsha chaburah, a Friday night tisch, a Shabbos morning shiur, the “NYU Kollel” and more. They also hosted a special Gilad Shalit prayer rally.
This is really just a tiny sampling of some events from some campuses. To list every event from every campus would take up the entirety of this newsletter and the next. Kudos to all of our JLIC campus directors as well as to the students who are hungry to further their Jewish education while attending university.