Jewcy Details Maya Epelbaum '16

After three years of coming to Hillel, enjoying the community, and eating with my fellow students, both Jewish and non-Jewish, I realized I felt like Hillel was missing something. What could it be missing—I had the community, I celebrated the holidays, and I participated in Tikkun Olam, or community service. Then one day I went to Generals’ Christian Fellowship small group meeting, and I realized what it was: I missed learning. I missed thinking about my religion as more than just something I do because it was fun and because I was born into this community, but as a way of life that I consciously choose to think about it.

This year I started Hillel’s first small group/Torah study/place to think about religion. Our group started off without a name because we weren’t sure quite what we were. We wanted to have an outlet to talk about Judaism, our faith, and our questions in a non-academic setting. We wanted a place where we could build a community based not just on a shared heritage but where we could have weekly meetings to let out our feelings and thoughts both related and unrelated to our religion. While the themes all centered on Judaism, people of all faiths came to participate and eat food. Some days we took on a prayer to discuss; for others the focus was on the story of the current holiday or Torah portion.  We called ourselves Jewcy Details because we discussed things that may be taboo in Hebrew school and grew close enough to share highs and lows that we might not have been comfortable sharing with a large group at Shabbat dinner. While Jewcy Details is still new and does not have too many active members, we hope to continue it next year under the leadership of Ron Perets (’18) and Batsheva Honig (’17) in order to provide a community of continued learning and connections within Hillel. Since Jewcy Details is meant to be a place of religious expression, I hope it continues and grows to foster friendships, spirituality, and faith in ourselves, our God, and our religion.