On November 11, KU Hillel held its 15th annual Rock Chalk Shabbat. Over 560 students, family members, alumni and community members attended the night’s events of dinner, services, and a Shabbat Oneg.
While in past years the event started with services followed by a dinner, this year Hillel staff and event planners decided to make some changes to the event schedule with the intention of creating a different feel after all the years of doing the event.
The event, Kingston said, felt more intimate with minor changes, like adding a smaller stage in the center of the room instead at the front of the room.
Students led prayers on the centered stage followed by Shabbat dinner and a video presentation highlighting Shabbat on KU’s campus.
Following dinner, attendees made their way to services led by students and KU Hillel Rabbi Neal Schuster. KU Hillel’s Board of Director Presidents were also honored during this year’s event. “I was so proud that we honored all of our presidents at the 15th annual Rock Chalk Shabbat. They are a wonderful example to all of our students of the impact great leaders can have on an organization,” says KU Hillel Executive Director.
The evening ended with a dessert Oneg for attendees to mingle. “I think kind of visually, the whole event looked and felt really nice,” Kingston said. “Overall we had really positive feedback and I think what we did had a good impact and created a Shabbat feel, even with more than 500 people in attendance.”
KU junior Jillian Ward, who helped Hillel staff members with planning and fundraising the event, said the night was her favorite Rock Chalk Shabbat so far.
“Everyone around me was talking about how it was the best Rock Chalk Shabbat they’d ever been to,” junior Jillian Ward said.
Kingston said in planning the event, she and others were worried of changes having a risk, but in the end the changes did exactly what they wanted and made this Rock Chalk Shabbat one to keep the event going in the future.
“After all of it, we think the risk really paid off and made for a great night,” Kingston said.