As an international Jewish student, a community that understands my culture and can celebrate it with me on our holidays and events is something important for me. When first arriving at Montclair I was searching for a Jewish organization that I can join that will help me feel more like home. The University has a Hillel organization on campus. However, unfortunately, we do not have organizations like the Israel-on-campus like there are in other universities across the US(Carnegie Mellon, for example). This is probably because there are not many Israelis at the university (I am the only Israeli in my department, and in fact, another student and I are the only Jewish students in the department).
Although Hillel is a small and intimate organization and does not have many student members, it is well-managed by two lovely directors who are dedicated, putting their heart and soul to organize successful events such as Shabbat dinners, holidays, and other significant events. I, for example, attended Shabbat dinner and celebrated Rosh Hashanah and Sukkot with them. During Sukkot, for example, they made a Sukkah outside the campus and brought in a Chabad rabbi from New York to give a blessing. Last week they had hosted an “Israel Night,” with a group of Israelis student visitors from Kibbutzim College.
The Israel Night took place in the dorms of the international students at the Village apartments. They invited everybody to come and celebrate and there were students from Norway, Russia, Germany, Poland, Korea, Lebanon, et cetera. They made real Israeli food – hummus, pita, Shakshuka, Matbucha, as well as Israeli salad and brought halva and chocolates from the Israel. Of course, there was also Israeli Music.
(: To conclude- Aya Sameach! Hope there will be more!