Student Life Editor
This past Sunday, Sept. 29, Jewish and non-Jewish students alike gathered in the Roy P. and Nan Ans Hillel House to celebrate Rosh Hashana with a dinner.
“Rosh Hashana is the Jewish New Year that kicks off the holiest period of time in the Jewish calendar,” said junior Bradley Melzer, president of Hillel. “This is the time between Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the Jewish year.”
“This time of the year is when, we believe, God is looking back at all of our actions from the previous year and decides whether our upcoming year will be a good, successful year or a punishment for our actions the prior year,” he said.
At Sunday’s dinner, Melzer opened with a blessing before welcoming students to dip apples in honey, a symbol of the sweet new year ahead. Students were also encouraged to help themselves to salad and bread while the finishing touches were put on the dinner.
The dinner itself, cooked by members of the Hillel executive board, consisted of apricot chicken, roasted broccoli and cauliflower, roasted potatoes, and pasta, as a vegetarian option.
Melzer said they were expecting between 20 and 25 attendees, including students and faculty. While not everyone who had expressed interest was able to make it, those who did enjoyed a home-cooked meal and the company of other attendees.
According to WC’s website, “Hillel is a student-run organization which strives to actively support our campus’s Jewish community.”
One of the reasons Hillel hosts a Rosh Hashana dinner is so that those students who are unable to make it home for the holidays are still able to celebrate.
“I have celebrated this holiday for my whole life, and I know there are other students who want to celebrate too, and this is an opportunity to feel like they are at home,” Melzer said.
After dinner, students enjoyed a dessert of apple pie and homemade cookies, and Melzer provided attendees with the opportunity to ask questions about Rosh Hashana or Hillel itself. While no one asked questions then, Melzer had previously explained some of the functions of the Hillel house — a space for studying and kitchens for making snacks among them.
“Our goal for Hillel is to have one big event per month so sometime towards the end of October and beginning of November we will be having a traditional Sabbath/Shabbat dinner,” Melzer said.
Students interested in attending future Hillel events should look out for emails from Assistant Director of Intercultural Affairs, Carese Bates.