Hanukkah and Fall Finals Study Break Laura Wiseman '16

This past Hanukkah fell during the end of Fall Term and teased students with the excitement of returning home for the winter break. While students had to remain on campus for the Jewish Festival of Lights, W&L Hillel made sure they wouldn’t miss out on anything. Delicious latkes, giant bowls of gelt, dreidels galore, and nightly candle-lightings are all part of the Hanukkah tradition and took place every evening of the holiday in the Hillel House. We kicked off the first night with a community celebration that included candle lighting, songs, and of course dozens of student-made Latkes ready to be covered in sour cream, applesauce…or both! Each night we then welcomed students to celebrate each of the wonderful eight nights while they simultaneously finished up classes for the year.

Hanukkah not only fell during the school term, but also on the cusp of final exams. While students were cramming for a Biology Exam or memorizing vocabulary for their French test, we figured it would be much less painful a process were they provided delicious Hanukkah treats to enjoy. With many thanks to the Dreyfus Family ‘13L we celebrated the final night of Hanukkah with a student study break. Along with the latkes and gelt we all indulged in throughout the week, we stocked up on donuts from Pure Eats and more coffee than could be consumed! Creating an event where homework and study materials could be left at the door definitely took the stress off of students while also refueling them for the next round of studying. We even raffled off gift certificates to downtown Lexington restaurants to keep students well-fed through finals week. Interacting with W&L Hillel on social media gave participants multiple chances to win. Who would have thought an overlap of Hanukkah and finals week could be a good thing?