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May 19, 2011 - Image 44

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Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2011-05-19

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for college students by college students

Making A Difference

OU's Jewish student community grows one Shabbat dinner at a time.

By Sean Alpiner

Auburn Hills

ollege. Parents dream about college for their kids.
Parents hope and believe the education their children
receive will, in fact, help them succeed in life. Parents
want to believe their children will make a difference in the world.
And kids, well, we dream about college, too. Kids dream about
getting out on our own, being able to do what we want, when
we want — without a barrage of parental, "I just want to know
where you are every minute" type of questions. (No offense to
you, Mom and Dad).
College, no doubt, is a great experience. But as an experienced
sophomore at Oakland University, I can tell you that at times I
have longed for home. Or, at least I longed for some of the com-
forts of my home.
One of the luxuries of home I missed my first year at school
were my weekly family Shabbat dinners. Rather than longing
for something I missed, I decided to take action. As a freshman,
I became active with Hillel of Metro Detroit (HMD) on campus
at Oakland University through the Jewish Student Organization
(JSO). After becoming involved, I approached HMD and the JSO
and proposed having monthly kosher Shabbat dinners. After
speaking with Jewish students across campus to promote this
idea, we recruited a core group and began meeting once a month
to share Shabbat, either on campus or at someone's apartment.
This year, with the help of HMD and the ISO, we have been

C

able to continue holding monthly Shabbat din-
ners and have engaged more Jewish students
on campus to share in this experience. Each
month we have a different menu that we order
from local kosher caterers. Just like at home, we
offer our students a variety of different foods
and themes for our Shabbat dinners; and often
we invite a speaker to address our group.
"The reason I enjoy these OU Shabbat din-
ners so much is because they bring together
our Jewish community on campus," said Jessica
Edmondson, JSO treasurer.
"Shabbat is a time to pause and reflect on
Sophomore Sean Alpiner of Franklin gets ready for
the week that has passed and look to the week
Shabbat dinner at Oakland University.
ahead," said Alaina Farber, JSO president. "It is
nice that we can come together as Jewish stu-
dents and relax, unwind and enjoy our college
experience together on campus."
make a difference. And, this is just the beginning. Not bad, Mom
It is also nice that the OU Shabbat dinners are FREE (yes, I said
and Dad, huh?
FREE) for students. Free food to college students is priceless. With
We are busy planning future HMD and JSO events at Oakland
each Shabbat dinner, we have attracted more and more Jewish
University, and we need your input. If you have ideas you'd like
students on campus. It is amazing and rewarding to see how
to share, or if you would like to participate in an upcoming JSO
one idea can help strengthen and grow the Jewish community at
Shabbat Dinner, we'd love to hear from you. Contact HMD at
Oakland University. And, this could have only been accomplished
(313) 577-3459 or by email at hilleled@wayne.edu .
with the support from HMD and the JSO.
Sean Alpiner of Franklin is a sophomore at Oakland University. He cur-
One of the greatest lessons I have learned from my experi-
rently serves as the secretary of the Jewish Student Organization at OU
ence with Hillel of Metro Detroit is that one person can really
and as a Peer Network Engagement Intern for Hillel of Metro Detroit.

Congratulations
to the Class of 2011

And an additional note of congratulations to a member of
West Bloomfield High School's Class of 2008.

has just been elected president of the student
body at Western Michigan University. Erin is:

Erin Kaplan

• PRESIDENT OFTHE WESTERN STUDENT ASSOCIATION

• I MMEDIATE PAST PRESIDENT OF WMU HILLEL

• MAJORING IN ORGANIZATIONAL COMMUNICATION

• MINORING IN JOURNALISM NONPROFIT LEADERSHIP
AND FASHION

WESTERN MICHIGAN UNIVERSITY

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44

May 19

2011

wwwwmich.edu

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