Favorite Jewish food: Falafel
Favorite animal/spirit animal: "I'm going to say a dog is my favorite animal...I wouldn't say I'm like a dog. I hope not. But I guess I'm friendly and I have dogs."
Sophomore Micah Stiel loves Shabbat. Every week he helps lead Hillel's student led Shabbat services, where he plays guitar for the prayers and songs.
"It's different than your regular temple services," Stiel said. 'It’s a lot more relaxed and musical and a lot more fun."
Stiel, who got involved in Hillel through the Freshmen Leadership series, said he first started going because he had some friends who invited him and he realized it was something he appreciated having in his weekly life at school.
In addition to helping with the weekly services, Stiel is a Shabbat intern for Hillel where he works to encourage students to attend Shabbat programs, as well as programs for other Jewish holidays at Hillel, which he said is an important thing for students to do.
"I think [attending] sets the foundation for staying connected Jewishly and becoming an adult, so I think [college] is an important time in a kid's life to express their Judaism and to learn about it," Stiel said.
Aside from his internship and Shabbat work, he said one of the reasons he plans to stay involved in Hillel is the opportunity to hang out with other Jewish students that Hillel provides. One of his favorite memories from Hillel was the Beren Leadership Retreat last semester where he got to hear other students talk about their Judaism.
"I really enjoyed the whole thing," Stiel said. "It was really cool getting together with other kids my age who were also passionate about Judaism and hearing what they like and what their interests are and how they’re involved, so that was a good roundtable experience for me."
Outside of Hillel, Stiel is involved in Chabad events and the new investment club at KU's business school. Stiel said he likes getting involved in organizations like these and Hillel where students are given the opportunity to do different things that relate to their interests, which is something he said he thinks Hillel does really well.
“[Hillel] is really good about catering Hillel to the students and making groups...or putting on events for different people's interests,” Stiel said. “It’s just a really good attribute that Hillel has that not every student organization has.”