Finding Love at Rutgers Hillel
By Dr. Marianna ’12 and Sam Weiner ’12
In honor of Tu B’Av (the 15th of the month of Av), the Jewish Valentine’s Day this past Friday, we couldn’t help but think about our own relationship. Although we have been married for less than six weeks, our story spans nearly seven years, starting in 2008 at Rutgers and at Rutgers Hillel. In fact, one of the first times we remember spending time in each other’s presence was in the Sukkah behind 93 College Ave. Both of us were drawn to Hillel at first thanks to its many social, religious, and educational opportunities, but what kept us coming back was the network of friendships we formed.
Hillel – the building itself and the community that stretches beyond its walls – played a significant role throughout our entire time of dating at Rutgers. In fact, the friends who were there when we first got together were the same people who danced at our wedding and celebrated with us as we began the next chapter of our lives. Through Hillel, we found a group of peers dedicated to building a Jewish community based on those aspects that unite Jews, not divide them. Additionally, we also developed meaningful relationships with Hillel’s outstanding staff and we were honored to have Andrew Getraer, Rabbi Esther Reed, and Greg Yellin attend our wedding. Andrew’s participation under the chuppah by reading one of the sheva brakhot, the seven blessings read during the wedding ceremony, represented our deep connection with all those at Hillel who watched us date for most of our time at Rutgers and who maintained those relationships long after we left campus to pursue our careers.
We are thankful for the time, energy, and passion that Hillel’s students and staff give to this outstanding organization and are truly grateful for its role in our lives.
Dr. Marianna and Sam Weiner