Alex Hamilton '17, Mike Nestel '14 and Hannah Poisner '16

Alex Hamilton ’17, Mike Nestel ’14 and Hannah Poisner ’16

A Midwesterner Finds His Home at Rutgers Hillel

By Alex Hamilton, Class of 2017

My hometown is Oklahoma City, but I am happy to be spending my college years on the East Coast. I love the people I have grown up with, and while our Jewish community is very small, it is also very supportive.  Even with that support, it is difficult to be an observant Jew when the closest place to buy fresh kosher meat is a four-hour drive away and the only daily minyan in the entire state is a 20-minute drive away.

I chose to come to Rutgers University because of the large, vibrant Jewish community made up of people who choose to live a Jewish lifestyle. Rutgers Hillel has helped nurture my Jewish identity in a way that being active in USY and spending a year in Israel couldn’t.

The Rutgers Hillel daily minyan is practically in my own backyard, and I love that it has become a part of my everyday life.  The people that go to minyan have become some of my closest friends.  Our friendships began over a cup of coffee and a bagel at breakfast after minyan. Now, we study together, grab a bite to eat together, or catch a movie together. This is why I’ve come to Rutgers — to meet Jewish people and to become friends with them. I am happy to report my Jewish experiences at Rutgers Hillel have enhanced my college experience in a way I could have never imagined.

I really appreciate everything Rutgers Hillel has done for me since I arrived only four short months ago. I am very glad I made the decision to attend Rutgers University. The Jewish community here was everything I could have asked for and more.

Alex Hamilton '17 and Alison Billet '15

Alex Hamilton ’17 and Alison Billet ’15

Help students like Alex strengthen their connections to the Jewish community and the Jewish people through programs like our daily minyan and breakfast following daily minyan.

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