By Leah Beight
On February 2-3rd, the Jewish Student Union of Northeastern University took 17 students plus four faculty members for the first JSU retreat at Ramah Palmer in the Berkshires. Students and faculty spent a meaningful Shabbat together full of learning, songs, and games. The JSU led Kabbalat Shabbat services, followed by dinner and a discussion about students’ relationships with Judaism. This “Jewish Journeys” discussion was the theme for the weekend and continued throughout Shabbat. Shabbat services which accommodated different religious preferences were led by Rabbi Becky Silverstein followed by lunch and Shabbat games in the afternoon. Professor Lori Lefkovitz led impromptu discussions about different aspects of Judaism during Shabbat lunch and was there to listen to students when they needed guidance. Professor Lefkovitz made students feel welcome, helped foster positive relationships with Judaism, and supported the leadership team coordinating the weekend. Rabbi Silverstein helped plan the retreat and was a huge support for the JSU planning team. We were also joined by Rabbi Leonard Gordon who led a discussion about Purim and its context in modern day America. He also advised students and stimulated challenging conversations. Rabbinical student David Joslin led an interesting discussion about competition in Judaism. He created an open space for dialogue and got to know each student personally.
Leah Beight is a third year student at Northeastern University and was the first President of the Jewish Student Union. She currently studies Health Science with a minor in Global Health and will begin the Master of Public Health program this coming fall.
Read the rest of the Spring 2018 Haverim newsletter here: