“I came to services because I wanted to see my Birthright friends,” sophomore Simone Levy said. Levy recently participated in KU Hillel’s 10-day Birthright trip to Israel along with 39 other students, many of whom attended Shabbat dinner.
Services at Hillel are entirely student run, written and led. Hillel’s team of service leaders consistently shows their commitment to giving students a strong Jewish community and an enjoyable Shabbat service experience.
“We try to put on different styles of services for people with different religious backgrounds,” sophomore Amanda Birger said.
Birger recently took on the responsibility of organizing Hillel’s Shabbat services along with fellow sophomore Adena Leon.
“Last semester, a lot of students consistently attended Shabbat services and told us they enjoyed the experience,” Birger said.
Due to the positive feedback about services the organization has received, KU Hillel will now host Shabbat services every week. This will provide students more opportunities to attend services, as well as give all of the talented musicians and service leaders in Hillel more opportunities to lead services and write them.
Students attend Shabbat services for a variety of reasons. Some go for the traditional, religious aspect of services, while others go to see friends and to be surrounded by their Jewish community on Shabbat. The challenge for service leaders is to find a way to connect with everyone so each student has a meaningful Shabbat experience.
“We are constantly trying to come up with new and unique ways to give everyone a piece of the Shabbat experience they are looking for,” Birger said.
The Welcome Back Shabbat was the first of many events Hillel has planned for students. Visit kuhillel.org/calendar to see more of Hillel’s events for this semester.