From Rebecca Koppel ’14 and Danny Blinderman ‘14:
To the Wesleyan Jewish Community,
This week marks the fourth and final time that I will begin a year at Wesleyan. I remember each new beginning fondly, as starting points to years full of new ideas and experiences. At the same time, they also stand out as moments of continuation and renewal for some of the most meaningful friendships and most amazing communities I have ever known.
Read after the jump to see the rest of this message and a schedule of events for Rosh Hashanah!
The unique tension that these moments hold, the push and pull between creation and continuation, has always, for me, been sharpened by the fact that they tend to overlap with Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year.
I know it might seem strange, or even contradictory, to try to begin the Jewish New Year alongside a new year at Wesleyan. As a freshman, it certainly felt odd to me to try and balance the beginning of my college career with the continuation of my Jewish life. What two things could possibly be more different?
And yet, I came to see them as not just similar, but inextricably related. Each year, at the same time as I was reaching for community and connectedness I found that Rosh Hashanah assembled those very things right in front of me. It was another way to get to know the people around me, to share something with them beyond the mundane and everyday. Rosh Hashanah embodies many of the same values and aspirations that infuse the start of a new year at Wes: renewal and continuity, intellectual engagement and exploration, and solemn self-reflection paired with cheerful celebration. Now, it is hard for me to imagine one without the other.
So, I urge everyone to come out and celebrate with the rest of the Wesleyan community. Evening services will be held Wednesday, September 4th at 6pm followed by a 7pm dinner. Thursday services begin at 9:30am, and are followed by a noon lunch. There will be apples and honey, the sounding of the Shofar, and the chance to meet new classmates and get to know old ones better. For more information, check out the official Rosh Hashanah schedule.
On another note, I know it can seem daunting to take a break from the mad dash of filling out schedules and meeting professors. I want to let all of you know that I have found each and every professor that I have ever worked with at Wesleyan incredibly empathetic and understanding about the balance between religion and school. As a senior who has done this a few times my advice is this: don’t worry about your professors, you might even find yourself sitting next to one of them at services.
I hope to see you there.
Danny Blinderman ‘14
September 4 (Wed):
Evening service 6PM Davison Art Center Courtyard /CFA (weather
(rain site: Usdan Campus Center: Beckham Hall)
Followed by special festive dinner: 7PM Usdan Campus Center: Daniel
September 5 (Thurs):
Morning service Day I, 9:30AM Beckham Hall
Festive Lunch following services: aprox 12 NOON Usdan Campus Center:
Evening service 6:15 PM, Adath Israel Synagogue (Old Church and Broad
September 6 (Fri):
Morning service Day II, 9 AM, Adath Israel
Tashlich River Walk Eco Ritual, meet at the Bayit, 157 Church St. at 4
Date: September 4, 5, and 6
Time: Services at 6pm (September 4), 9:30am and 6:15pm (September 5), and 9am (September 6)
Place: Davison Art Center Courtyard (September 4), Beckham Hall and Adath Israel Synagogue (September 5), Adath Israel Synagogue (September 6)
Link: Check out the schedule of events