KU Hillel Senior Jewish Educator and Rabbi Neal Schuster puts a huge emphasis on helping college students, especially seniors, best prepare for their Jewish adult life after college. Schuster understands that the transition into adulthood can be scary for students, but knows there are many ways to help students be successful in their post graduation days. One unique program he offers is “How to Drink Like a Grown-Up” for 21+ Jewish students.
On November 30, 25 students joined at Hillel for dinner and a “How to Drink Like a Grown-Up” program that was focused on learning all about wine-drinking.
Schuster coordinated the event with senior Guya Tuval. “I think that the ‘Drink Like a Grown-Up’ program is so important because in college, a lot of people don’t really know how to drink in general so talking about the etiquette behind that is important especially because after we graduate, we want to present ourselves as adults and not as crazy college kids,” says Tuval. “My favorite part about the program was having the opportunity to sample a bunch of different wines,” Tuval adds.
Not only did students learn about how to select and taste wine, including the etiquette of ordering wine at a restaurant, as well as such basic skills as how to use a corkscrew, but they also learn about how this relates to Judaism and their Jewish adult lives. "It's not like we sit down and open up a Jewish text to see what it says about drinking," Schuster explained. "It's woven throughout the conversation. By the time they leave, they don't even realize it, but they've learned all kinds of Torah, meaningful and practical Jewish teachings about alcohol."
The “Drink Like A Grown-Up” program is very different than your typical Hillel program, so it brought a handful of new faces into Hillel. “It was cool to see how this event attracted some seniors who don’t attend Hillel events often and I think everyone really enjoyed themselves. For me, it was just so great to learn about alcohol in a safe space with Rabbi Schuster,” says senior Melanie Edwards.