On Saturday, May 14, more than 150 people gathered at KU Hillel for a Graduation Shabbat Celebration.
The morning began with a brunch including bagels and cream cheese donated by Panera Bread Company. Following brunch, KU Hillel Executive Director Jay Lewis addressed the graduates and their families reflecting on the impact KU Hillel has had on them and the even greater impact the students have had on Jewish life at KU.
To conclude the celebration, Senior Jewish Educator/Rabbi Neal Schuster led a ceremony for the graduating seniors by spreading a talit over them and reciting the priestly blessing.
Pearl Sonnenschein wrote, “Hm, what can I say about my experience at KU Hillel? I could say that I spent good amount of the time there eating tubs of spinach-artichoke dip from Costco, socializing, and pretending to work on homework, which would certainly be true.
But in reality, my experience at Hillel was much more than just socializing and eating. I’ve had philosophical discussions with my peers and Neal, I went on three amazing trips out of the country, to Israel, Bulgaria, and Romania, and I began the tradition of an annual KU Hillel Formal. I know this sounds cliché (and even me saying that this sounds cliché is cliché), but Hillel really was a home away from home.
I felt comfortable to be myself and found my core group of friends. I learned what my Jewish identity really is, and that I don’t need to be religious in order to be Jewish. I’ve grown from my experiences at KU Hillel and am now confident to move on and continue my Jewish, young adult experience in the real-world. Shout-out to Neal, Jay, Carly, Melissa, and Amy for being awesome.”