The Orthodox Union’s Seif Jewish Learning Initiative on Campus (JLIC) presented a community engagement weekend in the Five Towns at the Young Israel of Woodmere Congregation Beth Sholom in Lawrence, Congregation Bais Tefillah in Woodmere and Congregation Aish Kodesh in Woodmere. JLIC Torah Educators served as scholars in residence in the various shuls and educated the community about the realities of Orthodox life on the secular university campus.
In coordination with Hillel on 22 university campuses around North America, JLIC Torah Educator couples provide an atmosphere for intensive study of Jewish texts; Sabbath and holiday observance; daily synagogue services; as well as mentoring and good companionship. JLIC is dedicated to the enhancement of Orthodox communities (kehilot) on campus by promoting positive growth and identity among Jewish students, therefore serving as one of the incubators of the future of Orthodoxy.
The Five Towns Shabbat program featured Rabbi Menachem Schrader, JLIC founding director; Rabbi David and Ariel Pardo, JLIC at Brandeis University; Rabbi Robby and Shoshana Charnoff, JLIC at Queens College; Rabbi Shlomo and Chana Zuckier, JLIC at Yale; and Rabbi Reuven and Shira Boshnack, JLIC at Brooklyn College.
Educators spoke at various minyanim at the participating synagogues. Two panels were presented on “Orthodox Life on the Secular University Campus.” OU Board member Stephen J. Savitsky moderated the panel at the Young Israel of Woodmere and Rabbi Avi Miller, Assistant Rabbi at Congregation Beth Sholom, moderated the panel there. Rabbi Robby Charnoff, who hails from the Five Towns, remarked: “It was wonderful to be so warmly welcomed back into my home community as a JLIC Torah Educator to share words of Torah and help others understand the critical work we do at JLIC at Queens College, especially with the huge number of students from the Five Towns now participating in our programming there.”
Other educator couples, such the Pardos, both Los Angeles natives and JLIC Torah Educators at Brandeis University, who had spent minimal time in the Five Towns in the past, greatly enjoyed their experience there. Rabbi Pardo noted that “the community really seemed to understand how important JLIC’s work is on campus.”
For more information about JLIC go to www.jliconline.org.