Jewhawk Day was organized by KU seniors Ben Davis and Mackenzie Litt and was overseen by KU Hillel’s Executive Director, Jay Lewis as a way for interested Jewish high school juniors and seniors to get the experience of college life and see how great KU can be for a Jewish student, socially and academically.
Students began their day at KU Hillel where there was a short introduction about Jewish life at KU and then were sent off to Massachusetts Street to get a taste of downtown Lawrence. From there, students visited Naismith Residence Hall, toured Allen Fieldhouse, took campus tours with current Jewish KU students and concluded the day with Shabbat services and dinner in the Kansas Union.
“Jewish life on campus was such an important part of my college decision and it was great to be able to have that potential impact on the students who came to visit so they could see what it‘s like to be a Jewish student at KU,” Litt said.
Litt explained that she and Davis reached out to local syngagoues, youth group directors and went to Blue Valley North High School to speak with students as well as posted flyers for the event in order to ensure maximum attendance.
Davis explained that his favorite aspect of Jewhawk Day is the integration of all of the different aspects of KU. He described that the event was not just about KU Hillel because they partnered with KU admissions, University Honors Program, Chabad and Greek life to show potential students all KU has to offer.
“It shows students that being a Jew at KU is more than Shabbat dinners and holidays,” he said. “It is the entire college experience that makes being a Jew at KU so incredible. I had no idea how amazing the KU Jewish community was until after I got here. I wish I had an opportunity to attend Jewhawk Day when I was in high school.”
Jewhawk Day has become an annual event at KU that will continue in the coming years. Next year, KU Hillel hopes to reach out to more out-of-state students and expand its reach to prospective students.