After the first week of school, Hillel hosted the Welcome Back Shabbat where more than 140 students joined together to celebrate Shabbat to reconnect returning KU students with each other, as well as with incoming freshman. Following services led by students and Rabbi Neal Schuster, students mingled over dinner . During dinner, KU students had an opportunity to reflect on their summer while simultaneously looking forward to the school year.
“I had so much fun being back with everyone back at Hillel, and to see all the new faces, Sydney Strauss, a sophomore from Overland Park, said “It felt like the year had officially started after we had that first Shabbat.”
Rabbi Neal Schuster is also gearing up for the first session of his program for 21+ Jewish students called How to Drink like a Grown-Up. The series focuses on closing the gap between the college perception of drinking and the appropriate social and even religious connotations that involve drinking.
“No one ever learns how to drink. They learn how to drink in secret. They come to college and they only know how to drink to get drunk,” Rabbi Schuster said. “Especially when you reach 21 and are approaching adulthood, it’s worthwhile for people to learn how to drink like a grownup.”
To wrap up the second week of school, KU Hillel hosted Shabbat service themed Cafe Hillel. Students gathered at KU Hillel to enjoy services led by juniors Max Gendler, Ben Schenberg, Amanda Birger, and senior Mackenzie Haun followed by light hors d'oeuvres. Freshman Sam Kricsfeld from Omaha said he enjoyed the event, which was one of his first Shabbat-style events at Hillel.
“It was a super welcoming atmosphere,” Kricsfeld said. “I felt no pressure, and everyone was super friendly. It was a laid back shabbos with great music.”
KU Hillel has many more events planned for upcoming school year. To learn more, go to kuhillel.org/calendar.