Spirit Animal: Cat
Favorite Artist: Fall Out Boy
Three Words to Describe Yourself: Compassionate. Organized. Trustworthy.
Scott Albaum has always considered himself Jew-ish.
Growing up right outside the heart of downtown Chicago, Scott went to services and attended religious school at his synagogue up until his Bar Mitzvah. After, Scott and his family slowly stopped participating in Jewish activities and going to high holiday services. Even though he no longer practiced Judaism, Scott knew he wanted to get more involved in the Jewish community when he came to KU.
"I had heard that Hillel and Chabad on campus were cool so I decided to try it and it just stuck," Scott said. "All of my friends always say 'Scott you're so Jewish,' but I've never really been super, super Jewish -- I think just the attraction of learning more about Judaism brought me back."
Scott went to a slew of programs his freshman year, and got involved with the Hillel’s Freshman Leadership Series in the Spring. Through Hillel, he befriended many people he might not have met otherwise. The Leadership Series retreat was his favorite event. Soon, Hillel was a place he felt comfortable. It was a place he could go to to get involved with the Jewish community.
“I like that it’s diverse, it’s another reason why I love Hillel so much,” Scott said. “You can be super Jewish or kind of Jewish -- you honestly don’t even have to be Jewish, but you could still come in and we’d say ‘Hey! How are you?’”
This year, Scott is an engagement intern for Hillel. He works with a small team of other engagement interns to bring new faces to Hillel events. People who participated in the Freshman Leadership Series, or came to one event but have yet to come back, are the people they target. Out of the 15 people he wants to ‘engage’, Scott has brought five of them to different events this semester. He brought three of his AEPi brothers to Hillel’s Midnight Oneg.
“You can be super Jewish or kind of Jewish -- you honestly don’t even have to be Jewish, but you could still come in and we’d say ‘Hey! How are you?’”
Next semester, Scott will continue working to engage the diverse, friendly Hillel community. He likes his internship and getting to know and work with Hillel’s adult staff.
“Whenever I go, I just feel like Jay and the staff really want me there,” Scott said. “There’s something different about having friends your age wanting you there and having adults who run it wanting you there.”
Along with the friendships he’s made with staff members, Scott has formed relationships in Hillel he know will last for a lifetime. He hopes others will engage themselves and find their lifelong friends, too.
“I would tell anyone you should just try it. It’s definitely brought me some of my best friends,” Scott said. “It’s a community where you can automatically connect with people because you’re Jewish. Just finding my friends there has been the best part of Hillel.”