On February 6th, members of Hillel gathered in the Chamberlain Student Center to meet with the local Rabbi Rachel Shoenfeld of Congregation Beth Tikvah Bnai Israel (CBTBI) located in Washington Township NJ. The evening was filled with ample discussion on several key interfaith issues. Beginning the night, one of the first major questions from Rabbi Rachel to the group was “How are you?” While this sounds trivial, it has been challenging for the group since the Hamas attacks of October 7th. The group had not met with Rabbi Rachel since Sukkot services at CBTBI, however, Rabbi Rachel was quick to assure the group about the well-being of not only herself but also her welcoming and hospitable congregation.
Other topics ranged from questions about Israel, Blessings before you eat, and even upbringing since Rabbi Rachel is originally from Toronto Canada. Members of Hillel shared stories about their upbringings, some becoming spiritual as they came to Rowan and others who have lived a more faithful way their whole lives until this point. It was a great way for students to connect with their heritage and find relation to one another.
On January 31st, 2024, Hillel collaborated with Chabad for Krav Maga Self-Defense Training. Due to the recent uptick in Antisemitism across college campuses nationwide, it has been important to educate and inform students about methods to protect and defend themselves, how to de-escalate and get themselves out of a bad situation. We hope never to use these skills, but it is better to be safe than sorry.
Don Melnick of Israeli Krav Maga of Cherry Hill NJ taught students students the importance of situational awareness and some key tips for deescalating a potential problem. He then shared several key moves for escaping if needed. Students then briefly practiced each of the moves before moving on to the next technique. The course lasted for an hour and a half and members of Hillel and Chabad were greatly appreciative of the lessons learned.
The Event also was a fundraiser for Bring Them Home Now which advocates for the immediate release of hostages currently in Gaza. Together the Group raised $100.00. We would like to thank everyone for coming out. Thank you to Rowan Chabad for another great collaboration and to Don Melnick for being an amazing instructor
After a week delay due to snow, Hillel finally welcomed in the new semester with Game Night. The 2024 Executive Board gave formal introductions to our membership. Students enjoyed a range of fun games from Blackjack to Jackbox setup on the Classroom Projector, Pizza was served and everyone had a good time. Hillel is very excited to start the semester and we are looking forward to great events up ahead.”
Rowan Hillel kicked off the Jewish New Year with some delicious food, cooked by Advisor Marc Fleischner. We spend our celebration with both new and old friends. After sharing our Jewish New Year’s Resolutions, we were joined by special guest, Raymond Wos and other members of the Rowan Student government DEI Committee.
After our introductions, we all engaged in a meaningful conversation about Rosh Hashanah and our perspectives as Jewish students of Rowan University.
Our CBTBI Social Event was a great way to introduce Hillel Members to our local synagogue. Congregation B’nai Tikvah-Beth Israel has always been a friend of Rowan Hillel and welcomes any Rowan student with open arms. At our virtual service, Rabbi Rachel and the newly Bar Mitzvah-ed boy lead the Friday Evening services.
Before the service, Hillel Members talked about our second week of classes, shared pizza from Ciconte’s, and broke the ice with some fun games.
Our Fall 2022 Welcome Back Shabbat was a great way to kick off the semester. Hillel saw a bunch of new and returning faces. Everyone bonded over Pizza from Ciconte’s outside at Memorial Circle. By the end of the event, everyone was in awe of the Harvest Moon. The bright shine was a great way to end the night, and gave everyone a glimpse of the new, bright semester ahead of us.
We are so excited to engage Rowan’s Jewish Community and have a lot in store for the rest of the semester. Thank you to everyone who came out, stay tuned for more events to come!
Welcomed back new and old friends with the semester’s first event, Welcome Back Shabbat! Event included Shabbat Blessings to begin the semester, sandwiches, and lots of smiles. Wishing everyone a successful and fun semester!
Switched things up a bit this year and did our annual gift exchange white elephant style! There was definitely a bit of rivalry in the room, but everyone went home with something they like! Participants also painted wooden dreidels in honor of Hanukkah and engaged in canvas painting. Check out some of our talented members’ finished products! Wishing everyone the best of luck on finals – finish strong!