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On Tuesday morning, Dean of Women Diane Philipp rat­ified the by-laws for Hillsdale Chavarah, the new Jewish orga­ni­zation on campus. After three months, the group is finally official.

Last semester, Freshmen Ayla Meyer, the pres­ident, and Kelsey Drapkin, the sec­retary, envi­sioned a Jewish orga­ni­zation on campus.

“When I came to Hillsdale, the Judaism aspect was my biggest concern,”  Drapkin said.

Nev­er­theless, she chose Hillsdale for its prin­ciples — pur­suing truth and defending liberty.

“I figured I could work out the reli­gious stuff.”

Meyer and Drapkin had planned a modest setting in which Jews “could come together and just cel­e­brate.” When other people began to emerge, Meyer said, “we realized we could make this an official orga­ni­zation.”

“When I came to Hillsdale, it only took about two weeks before I began missing my family’s Jewish tra­di­tional Shabbat dinners,” sophomore Ben Hindle, the vice pres­ident. “So, I thought ‘Why can’t I do that here?’”

While the group exists to promote Judaism, it is open to Chris­tians who want to get involved.

“I am Christian, but my dad’s family is all Jewish,” Newman said. “I really identify with Hillsdale Chavarah. We have a lot in common, and they totally accept me.”

The group has been active since the end of January, with the first Shabbat dinner on Feb­ruary 17.

Hindle said that it took so long because “it’s some­thing very new for Hillsdale College.” He added that college pres­ident Larry Arnn wanted “to make sure we get this right the first time,” and to “make sure the by-laws are as correct as pos­sible.”

“Chaplain Beckwith,” he explained, “and the entire admin­is­tration at Hillsdale has been extremely sup­portive, and they have pushed us and encouraged us in all the best pos­sible ways.”

  • chantal rubin

    so excited that there is an option for my jewish kids at a con­ser­v­ative school!! We are many years away– but you are on my radar now!!