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September 25, 1992 - Image 178

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1992-09-25

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

I ON CAMPUS I

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everal college students
gather together to
celebrate Rosh
Hashanah. In this small room
they have carefully set out a
plate of apples and honey as
a wish for a sweet year.
Candles are lighted, the card
table set with a tablecloth
and assorted dinnerware.
Each friend has contributed
his or her own favorite dish to
the festive meal. As the group
prepares to say the prayers
and sit down to eat, they hear
someone in the hall yell,
"Anyone got a beer?" and an
accompanying blast of Guns
`N Roses from the room next
door.
This disconcerting scene
might be a reality for some
college students away from
home this High Holiday
season. Although Rosh
Hashanah and Yom Kippur
celebrations in a college dorm
room or apartment aren't
ideal, many students find it
too difficult, expensive, or
have too much schoolwork to
come home for the holidays.
The scene isn't always as
grim, or, by turns, comically
ironic as the dorm room holi-
day meal depicted above.
Many college campuses pro-
vide special services for
Jewish students at the High
Holidays through their cam-
pus B'nai B'rith Hillel Foun-
dation or other Jewish stu-
dent agencies. Shani Lasin,
program director of the Hillel
Foundation at the University
of Michigan in Ann Arbor,
said students play a large role
in planning and leading the
Humanistic, Reform, Conser-
vative and Orthodox services
offered there throughout the
High Holidays. Students can
also sign up for hot kosher
meals at Hillel on the
holidays.
Marni Holtzman, a 20-year-
old junior from Grand Rapids,
is a member of U-M's Reform
Chavurah, the group that
plans the Reform services,
and she led a High Holiday
service for the first time last
year.
"I do miss going home and
being able to spend the time
with my family, but I get
pleasure out of leading the
service," Ms. Holtzman said.
"I live two hours away, so
theoretically I could go home,
but I like working with
Hillel.'
On Kol Nidre and Erev
Rosh Hashanah, Ms. Lasin
estimated attendance at

500-600 people for Reforni
services, 1,000 for Conser-
vative services, and 100-150 1
for Orthodox services. "It's
big crowd, it's like standing-
room only,"she said.

Ms. Holtzman said this oh-'
servance within the Jewish
university community is a
special part of the holidays for
her: "The sheer fact that
there are so many students
nice. Even though th
students are away from hom€ '
they still feel a tie to thE
religion and feel the need tc
come to services."
Students, Hillel staff and'
other members of the Jewisi
community also corn
together at a Tashlich obse ,
vance during Ro .
Hashanah, in which the
meet and walk together t
Ann Arbor's Huron River
throw bread into it, a sym,,
bolic and spiritual act c .";
"throwing away" their sins: ,
Michigan State University,
students can attend combing:

Special holiday
programs for thosg
who can't go
home.

tion Reform/Conservative st
vices at the Hillel Foundati.
in East Lansing, and Detroit,
area Orthodox families ho..
students for the holidays as
well, said Jennifer Epstein'
program director for MSU
Hillel. Hillel services als
draw students from neighbo
ing Cooley Law School 1 -
Lansing.
Still, Hillel Foundation
MSU isn't used to providi
such services because n
previous years, school was
often not in session during
the High Holidays due to the
school's now-defunct;
trimester system. Also, Ms. ``I
Epstein said, "We estimate 8,(=—'
percent of the Jewish
students we come into contac,
with are from the Detroit.
area and go home" for the
holidays.
On other campuses out of
state, the pressures of school. ,
and the distance away from
home discourage students
from making the trip for the
High Holidays. Brad Haber, a
20-year-old from West Bloom-
field attending Ohio State
University in Columbus, said,
"I just got to school last week
and I don't feel like driving
home four hours right away."
Mr. Haber had not yet made
plans for celebrating the
holidays, but said he might

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