I served on the board of GW Hillel as freshmen engagement chair for the 2015-2016 school year. This experience is important to me because it allowed me to be a part of and give back to a community that had done so much for me. As a homesick freshman, I turned to GW Hillel to feel closer to home and find support within the community. The next year, I wanted to support incoming freshmen just as the community did for me.
I had the opportunity to plan an early move-in program for incoming Jewish freshmen, where they had several days of activities which included scavenger hunts around DC, meeting Jewish GW alum who work on Capitol Hill, meeting with Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and ending with Shabbat that allowed us to reflect on the past few days. I was able to watch friendships and lifelong bonds form. Throughout the school year, I had the chance to get to know many of the freshmen through coffee dates, Shabbat dinners, holidays, and school related events. The connection I was able to feel with the freshmen and the entire Jewish community was something I had not felt before. It was amazing to feed off of the excitement that the community brought to campus.
Perhaps one of the most important things to me about Judaism is the sense of community. After attending a Jewish day school most of my life, the community was always around me. This experience allowed me to become closer to my own Jewish community at GW but also to an even larger community- the Jewish population as a whole.