Tag Archives: judaism

Oy Vey! Yiddish Club Now Meeting Weekly!

Jared Gimbel ’11 writes in to share some information with you and your bubbe about Wesleyan’s own fighting Yiddish Club:

Sholem Aleikhem!
Gut Morgn, Gut Yor!

Experience the Old Country at the Wesleyan Yiddish Club! Come learn the songs and the talk of the shtetl and beyond!

We will learn about the Yiddish language, pieces of the language itself, and how to speak it even while you’re speaking English. Confused? Come to the first meeting! Yiddish is a language that will make your heart grow three times in size. Guaranteed. Even if you are not Jewish. And you don’t have to be Jewish to attend! Knowledge of German, Hebrew, and/or Slavic languages will prove helpful.

If you are interested, message Jared at jgimbel(at)wesleyan(dot)edu. If you mention your favorite type of candy, he will buy it and bring it to the meeting.

Date: Jan. 29
Time: 2:30 PM – 4:00 PM
Place: The Bayit
Cost: Free nu?

Chanukah? Hannukah? Hanuka?

Here’s some information from Rebecca Koppel ’14 on how to kick off that difficult-to-spell holiday:

Constantly perplexed as to how to spell the holiday’s name? It’s okay! Light menorahs, eat sufganiyot (jelly filled donuts) and sing your favorite Chanukah songs to kick off this holiday. Come on the first night (December first) at 8PM to Olin for some fun fun fun!

  • Date: Wednesday, December 1
  • Time: 8:00 PM – 9:00 PM
  • Place: Olin Library
  • Cost: Free!

Discovah Thah Sukkah

An anonymous tip from Wesleyan’s Jewish Community:

I hope you will consider checking out Wesleyan’s award-winning Sukkah (a temporary shelter/hut built for the Jewish festival of Sukkot). Commissioned by the Wesleyan Jewish Community in 2008, the Sukkah was constructed by the students of Architecture Studio 2 and Professor Elijah Huge. The Sukkah is near the Art Library in the CFA and will be on site through Thursday, September 30th. Feel free to use the space to lounge and linger.

Torah Buffet End of the Year BBQ

Every Thursday from 12-1, the local Chabad Rabbi, Rabbi Yosef Wolvovsky, comes to campus to lead a discussion of the weekly Torah portion. The event is called “Torah Buffet” and is open to everyone, regardless of background or religious identity. The group is a combination of students, faculty, staff, and Middletown residents, and are excited to welcome new people into our learning circle.

Recently, some of the people involved in the weekly Torah study have been working on ways to get this unique learning opportunity more exposure on campus. A few weeks ago, Rabbi Wolvovsky led a session of the Contemporary Radical Jewish Thought student forum. And tomorrow, to celebrate the last Torah Buffet of the semester, we will be holding the study outside, in the Usdan courtyard from 12 – 1. There will be a free barbecue (with vegetarian options) and lots of simcha and learning. Please stop by if you have a chance!

Date: April 29
Time: Noon – 1:00 PM
Place: Outside Usdan in the Courtyard

Express Yourself in the New Wesleyan Passover Hagaddah

From Emily Hoffman ’10:

This semester, the Contemporary Radical Jewish Thought student forum has taken on the project of re-imagining and re-configuring the annual Wesleyan Passover Seder into something we feel is more reflective of the things we have learned and experienced at Wesleyan.

Part of this project involves collecting students’ thoughts on the phrase “Next Year in Jerusalem,” which is traditionally said at the end of the Seder. We want to know what this phrase means to you, particularly in the context of the conflict in Israel/Palestine. Whether it’s a sentence or a page or even a picture, we would love to see your ideas and include them in our new Hagaddah.

Please send your thoughts to Ari Fishman ’13 at arfishman(at)wesleyan(dot)edu any time before break ends.


Wesleyan/Jewish identity explored after shooting

bayitBefore his attack on Johanna Justin-Jinich, killer Stephen Morgan made jarring comments in his journal about targeting Jews and Wesleyan students in general, which made an already terrible incident even more unsettling.

American Jewish newspaper The Forward explores his conflation of Wesleyan students, Jews, and Justin-Jinich, and talks about Jewish identity at Wesleyan in the wake of the shooting.

President Michael Roth and Rabbi David Leipziger Teva were (probably rightly) quick to dismiss the specific role of Jewishness in the muder, since this guy was clearly twisted. The students interviewed in the article agreed:

[…] what could have been a moment of vulnerability and isolation for Wesleyan’s Jewish students turned out to be quite the opposite. In interviews, Jewish, non-Jewish and half-Jewish Wesleyan students suggested repeatedly that nothing the alleged gunman had done moved them to view Jews as separated out in any way from the rest of the student body. For the students — and, it appears from his writings, for Morgan, as well — there was no distinction, because there is essentially no difference.

I think it was more a dislike of Wesleyan students, and he considers us all ‘Jews,’” said freshman Jon Booth, who said he is not Jewish.

The May 6 shooting death of Justin-Jinich burst what students here describe as “the Wesleyan bubble,” replacing the ordinary stresses of finals period with shock and fear. In addition to being a very personal and fatal attack on Justin-Jinich — whom Morgan had stalked in the past — it also appeared to be, from Morgan’s journals, an attack on Wesleyan’s identity, on a campus where identity is not assumed, but debated, studied and even protested.

For Morgan, who was apprehended May 7, part of that had to do with his sense of Wesleyan’s students as the chosen elite. According to a warrant for his arrest, Morgan wrote resentfully about seeing the beautiful, smart and well-to-do students at Wesleyan. Somehow, it seems, this, combined with his obsession for Justin-Jinich, led him to focus on a different kind of chosenness, one that singled out Jewish students from their peers — or, perhaps, conflated the two.

Surveys, submissions, magazines, and more

Take the Unlocked Magazine Sex Survey II.

[Via Shannon Sun-Higginson ’10.]

Ad-Lit is accepting poetry submissions. All are encouraged to send their work to rcarpman@wes by Monday, April 20.

[Via Rachel Carpman ’10.]

The Wesleyan Jewish Community (WesJews) has a new blog. It has news and events related to Jewish life at Wes.

[Via David Baranger ’10.]

The Second Stage staff application deadline has been extended to Friday, April 17.

[Via Laura Shapiro ’10.]

Armchair/Shotgun, a New York-based literary magazine founded by Wesleyan alums, is seeking short fiction, nonfiction, and poetry for its inaugural issue. The debut will feature an interview with Jonathan Lethem, as well as pieces from whiskey-swilling, foul-mouthed, up-and-coming writers. Visit armchairshotgun.com for more info.

[Via John Cusick.]

Long Lane Farm needs acoustic musical acts for its May Day Celebration on Saturday, May 2. Contact Aaron Greenberg ’11 (aegreenberg@wes) or Alex Ketchum ’12 (aketchum@wes) as soon as possible.

Pizza In the Hut

Becky Eidelman ’11 writes:

Need some munchies to go with your studying? Come to Pizza In the Hut! We’ll be giving out free pizza in the Sukkah outside of Olin, to celebrate Sukkot.

Date: Monday, Oct. 13
Time: 6:00 PM
Place: Sukkah, outside of Olin

Bayit open house and dinner

Eat yummy food, meet current and prospective Bayit residents, and learn all about the best program house on campus!

We want you to live with us next year! Perks include spacious bedrooms, a huge kitchen, lots of cool people, an awesome community, a unique culture, free food all the time, cool programs galore… only at The Bayit™.

Date: Thursday, Feb. 28
Time: 5:30 – 8:00 PM
Location: The Bayit (157 Church St.)