Dear Friend of Colby College Hillel:
Every Friday night, the smell of freshly baked challah fills the second floor of the Pugh Center as students put the finishing touches on Shabbat dinner. The challot, candles, and wine are rushed to a student lounge for 5:30 pm candle lighting, where dozens of students introduce themselves, sing together, share their best experiences of the week, learn a few words of Torah, and bless the meal that their fellow students have prepared for them. Every Friday night, Colby Hillel provides a home away from home for Jewish students and their friends in Waterville.
Every week, Colby students are growing into the adults the Jewish future requires. Last year we began pairing Colby students with Hebrew school students from Beth Israel Congregation. One of our seniors, Jacob Marx ‘13, took an hour a week to teach the liturgy to Ethan, one of our bnei mitzvah students. Not only did Ethan improve his Hebrew reading skills, but both of them also learned what it means to be Jewish men. It means stepping up, giving to your community, and transmitting the values that have sustained our people for generations. This year, three women (Cara Goldfarb ‘17, Sarina Strohl ‘14, and Lyndsey Pecker ‘14) will be working with the congregation and teaching in our Hebrew school, putting Jewish values into action, and strengthening the bonds between Colby Hillel and the Waterville Jewish community.
Every year, our students contribute to High Holiday services in Waterville, and are thanked by a warm and deeply appreciative community. Both of our presidents, Laura Rosenthal ’15 and Ben Zurkow ’15, will read Torah for the second year in a row. One month later, the members of the congregation will welcome Colby students into their homes for Shabbat dinner, providing both a meal and Waterville family they can call their own.
Every day, these students are not only enjoying vibrant Jewish life in this small Maine town, they are creating it. We should all be very proud. Please read the newsletter that our students have crafted and consider supporting our holy work at Colby College Hillel. With your support we look forward to continuing this transformative programming and support for Jewish life.
Todah Rabbah and Shannah Tovah! (Many thanks and happy new year),
Rabbi Rachel M. Isaacs
P.S. We would love to see you homecoming weekend! Hillel will tailgate with kosher food at the football game Saturday morning, and will host a bagel breakfast Sunday morning in the Hillel Room (Pugh Center, 2nd floor.)
P.P.S. Want to give online? Visit www.colby.edu/give and write “Colby College Hillel” in the comments section. You can also write a check to “Colby College” and write Hillel in the memo line.