“Coming from a tight-knit Modern Orthodox community, I was worried about maintaining my customs when I first got to college. I was especially worried about Shabbos in the dorms and the environment being too rowdy for me to rest. The Hillel building gave me a place on Friday nights to hang out and avoid some of that chaos, and going to the Orthodox services at Hillel meant I didn’t have to go to a local synagogue that’s far from campus. I also couldn’t use my electric key card to go in and out of my dorm room on Shabbos, and the Hillel staff told me who I could talk to at the university to get a manual key.
This past semester, I participated in the Jewish Learning Fellowship. After every class, I’d discuss the texts more deeply with Danielle Kranjec, our senior Jewish educator, who taught the class. It was nice to be able to talk to someone who’s so open-minded and well-versed in the texts and further my Jewish learning. The transition to college was a very drastic change in environment for me, and I know Danielle and the rest of the Hillel JUC staff made it much less overwhelming, and have continued to help me practice my Judaism how I want to.” — Gavi Levy, Pittsburgh, PA