Elon Hillel featured by Jewish News Syndicate for welcoming and inclusive High Holidays on campus

The campus Jewish community is preparing for Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, which begins on Sept. 29.

Hillel, Elon’s Jewish student organization, was featured by the Jewish News Syndicate in a recent article about how colleges and universities help students find their (spiritual) home away from home.

The article, titled “High Holiday challenge for college kids: Finding their (spiritual) home away from home,”  was released as the Jewish community on Elon’s campus begins preparations for the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah, which begins on Sept. 29.

Rabbi Sandra Lawson with students in the Sacred Space in the Numen Lumen Pavilion.

Hillel student board Religious Life Chair Melissa Denish ‘22, from Philadelphia, lives too far from Elon to go home for the holidays, so together with fellow students and campus Rabbi Sandra Lawson, the Associate Chaplain for Jewish Life, she helps build services and programs that meet her spiritual needs.

“Our services are welcoming, inclusive, and fun for all students,” explains Denish. “At Elon, my Jewish peers and I create and lead the kind of services that have the most meaning for us. And we have the opportunity to share that meaning with others as well because of the campus’s unique multifaith environment.”

At Elon, the students and Jewish Life staff create a place for students to feel at home during the High Holidays by encouraging them to lead and get involved in our pluralistic celebrations, which are designed to make everybody feel welcome and comfortable.

As Director of Jewish Life Betsy Polk shared with the JNS: “We … make sure our services are pluralistic and inclusive for our Reform, Conservative, unaffiliated and more observant students. Our challenge is creating a High Holiday experience where everybody feels comfortable.”

Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, is a time for new beginnings, spiritual renewal, and community. Students, families, faculty, staff, and local community members gather for shared meals and meaningful services which feature the sounds of the shofar, or ram’s horn.

All meals are free and open to all students, requiring only an RSVP.  More details can be found here, on Hillel’s web site, and RSVPs are now open here.

Rosh Hashanah: Sept. 29 – Oct. 1, 2019

Sunday, Sept. 29 – 5:30 p.m.

Erev Rosh Hashanah Dinner in McBride Gathering Space (RSVP required)

Sunday, Sept. 29 – 6:45 p.m.

Erev Rosh Hashanah Services in Numen Lumen Sacred Space

Monday, Sept. 30 – 10 a.m.

Services in Numen Lumen Sacred Space

Monday, Sept. 30 – 12:30 p.m.

Rosh Hashanah Luncheon in McBride Gathering Space (RSVP required)

Monday, Sept. 30 – 3 p.m.

Taschlich Hike and Services (meet at Sklut Hillel Center)

Tuesday, Oct. 1 – 10 a.m.

Services in Numen Lumen Sacred Space

Tuesday, Oct. 1 – 12:30 p.m.

2nd Day Rosh Hashanah Luncheon at Sklut Hillel Center