Pesach – "Let My People Stay" et al.

(parts I, II, III) I just want to sum up some final thoughts on the whole Pesach experience. First I’ll post a survey Hillel put out to ~120 students who came to Hillel for Seders. Most of those polled do not regularly eat at Hillel, and over 80% did not go to other activities (services, […]

Pesach, take 2 – "L’harot Et Atzmo Ke’ili Hu Yatza Mimitzrayim"

After the overwhelming success of the first Seder, how could things get any better? Wait ’til you hear this story… So the second Seder – we planned it a little different based on the number of people expected to attend, which was much smaller than the previous night’s hundreds. Furthermore, for the 14 of us, […]

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 […]