Pesach – "B’etzem Hayom Hazeh"

Last we saw our team of heroes they were hard at work preparing sessions, delving into the depths of the haggadah, and working on their discussion-leading skills. And then the day was here – the 14th of Nisan. So while the rest of the Jewish community piled out, we dug in and prepared ourselves. We […]

Parshat Shoftim and Communal Responsibility

I want to share with you a dvar torah on the parsha which I think is very relevant. Last year I shared it with the Orthodox Community at Penn the first weekend of school and I found it very instrumental in spreading these ideas, raising these discussions, and promoting this type of activity around the […]

The First Meal

Ah, the first meal. I remember it like yesterday… in the first meeting, we had decided upon making a Shabbat meal as a means to share a meaningful Jewish experience with friends who were never privy to its beauty. I asked if anyone had people in mind to invite and one girl blurted out that […]

The Very First Thing, and How it All Began

Let me tell you how it all started at Penn. It was back when I was a sophomore, before there was any such thing as ‘Heart to Heart’ (nor ‘Chazan Ish’). Chanukah was approaching, as were finals, and all the studying was starting to make me antsy. So my roommates and I, looking for some […]

“Yes Penn State”

A popular T-shirt on (the University of) Penn(sylvania)’s campus bears the slogan, “Not Penn State” differentiating the two similarly named universities. Yet, for all the academic and social differences that the schools have, they share more than just a state and a name; they each boast a significant Jewish population. However, the strengths of the […]

The Real First Post

In honor of the beginning of CPI09 and having remembered that I actually wrote my first blogpost just about a year ago, I’m re-posting it here: Day 7: Getting Ready for Camp Monday, July 21st, 2008. Today was our first real day in Yerucham – and boy was it a good one. Partially it was […]

Pesach: "shloshim yom lifenei hachag"

Pesach. What a holiday. It’s got everything – history, theology, family, customs, commandments, emotions – no wonder it’s the most celebrated Jewish event (2001-2002 National Jewish Population Study). What normally happens at Penn is that all 300+ Orthodox and most of the other affiliated students go home (or to friends’ homes). Then, Seder night, hundreds […]

Kentucky, part 4 – Forgotten Parts

First off, I can’t believe I forgot to include this (oh right, other then the fact that it’s incredibly embarrassing): When thinking of ways to spread the word and get people to come, and having the illustrious TSR with us, we figured what better technique to utilize than a funny video introducing us!…in a way […]

The Secret

Often, and especially in my recent travels, I am asked the question “What is your secret?” People want to know what secret program I run, or what magical dvar Torah I give, or what the trick is to “making people religious”. And some people tell me they think they have the answer – have a […]