I'm going to friday night italian tomorrow...the forbidden entree ceremony of Katherine, Rachel and most of their friends. It's going to be a big night. I'll wear my fancy pants.
Dude. I lost my rock climbing shoes.
Check out this cartoon, and its sequels, if you like them. I think they're hilariously adorable.
Here's the essay I'm submitting with my application to go to New Orleans and investigate Jewish Identity over the spring break. The questions to be answered were (1) why this program, (2) does community service/social justice relate to my life and Jewish identity, (3) what characteristics will I bring to the group on this trip, and (4) how will the trip impact my college experience and campus.
Response to essay questions:
I recently completed an essay about the four most recent generations of my family, and discovered that not just most, but that every single relation I know of—whether they immigrated from the Ukraine, Israel, Poland, and Russia—has been Jewish. I believe that spurred me into worrying how I plan to respond to that history, that cultural heirloom. When I found out that Kesher was holding this program, I was thrilled—I have a genuine desire to discover the value of my Judaism. I was also excited at the prospect of looking at Judaism as a force which motivates people to do charitable work and be productive, and the work I would be doing in New Orleans would be a great way to investigate that aspect of my currently dormant Jewish identity. Community service work will be a necessary part of my healthy adult life—and I think that if Judaism was a community which helped me get involved with that work, it would make my Jewish identity that much more important to me, and give me good reason to become more involved at a synagogue or Hillel program.
Investigating my Jewish identity and working for social justice through community service have always been personal projects for me, and yet I have never had the chance to consider both the same time. This specific program is important because I am graduating this semester, and I am unsure of what communities I can be involved with once I leave the institution of New York University. Now, more than at any other time in my life, I am trying to decide what role religion and community service will play in my adulthood.
To the student group, I will bring first and foremost an unfailing respect for the beliefs and needs of others. Considering my own liberality, I think I may find that most people are “more Jewish” than I am. But I am incredibly curious to ask them about their beliefs and use their knowledge of their Judaism to decide what is right for me. I am also generally not a shy person, and I certainly plan to be outgoing and warm towards the other people on the trip (almost none of whom I will know). Other things I plan to bring to the group include:
- Bad and unashamed dancing to any kind of music.
- Amateur juggling, balloon-animal making, and head/hand stand skills.
- A desire to run every day, and pursue this activity with new friends.
- Good jokes that my mother has told me.
As I am graduating with a BA in English and American literature in May, I will have only a short time to make an impact on NYU’s college campus and students. However, several programs I am involved in will help me bring my experience to others at the university quickly, and help me impact the NYU campus. I am currently an ambassador for the study abroad program, and will be a panel member at open forums about spirituality abroad in April and May. Certainly, this trip will help me better frame my experience as a Jewish student who studied in England last semester. I am also a regular writer for a small literary magazine, Wednesdays, which distributes over 1,000 copies each week around campus—to students of all spiritualities. I certainly plan on writing a reflective piece for this magazine when I return—with the hope that it will inspire others to investigate their own Judaism through the Hillel and Kesher programs.
I hope that you understand my need to investigate my Jewish values and identity, as well as my desire to understand Judaism as a productive, spiritual, and loving community. Thank you for your time!