Student Led, Student Inspired: Purim 2014
by Joshua Blachorsky ‘15, Talia Greenstein ’16 and Shoshana Novick ‘15
The Rutgers Hillel Jewish community is truly special. We are a tight-knit group; anyone can get involved and make a difference. Purim here really proved that. While elected student leaders decided not to organize events for Purim on campus this year, since it fell on the first weekend of spring break, we felt that it was important for there to be programming here to allow students to spend the moed (holiday) with their community. A typical Purim at Rutgers Hillel has costume contests, food and festivities, and hundreds of students come for the Megilla readings and celebrations. No wonder many students expressed a desire to stay on campus for Purim; they felt that this holiday is more fun to celebrate with friends.
Without people taking charge, nothing would get organized, so we decided to do it. For weeks, we discussed everything that would need to happen in order for the weekend to be a success. In addition to Purim itself, we also needed to plan Shabbat meals and services, as well as ensure that any student who lives in a dorm who wished to be on campus for the weekend would have a place to stay, as the dorms are closed during Spring Break.
We had spreadsheets and lists, discussions that went late into the night, and many conversations with anyone we could think of that might want to be on campus for Purim. The weekend plans came together piece by piece, ultimately enabling us to celebrate Shabbat and Purim as one.
When the day finally came, everything worked out perfectly. The tefillot (prayers) were inspiring and the meals delicious. On Shabbat afternoon, we had an excellent Chaburah Lunch sponsored by OU-JLIC with Alex Hamilton ’17 teaching about a literary analysis of the Megilla. That night, we had 85 people come listen to megillah with a great ice cream buffet afterwards. Sunday morning, in addition to our main minyan for Megillah reading, we had a women’s reading which went exceedingly well. Afterwards we had a bagel and donut spread and a good time was had by all.
We were very glad that our community was able to have such an excellent Purim here on campus and are so proud of our Rutgers Hillel community!
JLIC is an OU Program in Partnership with Hillel
Rutgers Hillel encourages our students to build Jewish community by organizing events focused on their own interests. Please support Rutgers Hillel as we help students to strengthen their Jewish identities and become the next generation of Jewish leaders.