10 of my favorite memories from the past year, in no particular order.
In lieu of another good-bye message, I thought I would instead create a list of some of my favorite memories at SU. I hope these memories encourage you to reflect back on all the amazing times we have had as well!
10. Sushi in the Sukkah. I'm usually pretty transparent that Sukkot is one of my least-favorite Jewish holidays: it's so soon after Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur, I don't really like picnics or hanging out outside, sukkot can be cumbersome and expensive, and I don't feel that connecting to the agricultural season in the Land of Israel. However, squeezing in a sukkah with all of you (along with a pretty amazing gingerbread sukkah competition and lots of sushi) really transformed the holiday into a joyous time!
9. The Jewish Learning Fellowship. Working with our amazing six fellows was a life-changing experience for me. We ate together, talked about our lives, and read Jewish texts. I am so happy I got to meet you all: Matt W, Naomi, Robert, Lucas, Victoria, and Molly... you all are awesome and amazing! I hope I continue to get to see you grow in the SU Community - or wherever life may take you.
8. Our non-traditional Zoom seder. I love Passover, and I love seders. I am, of course, sad that we could not dip karpas and sing dayenu together. But I am so glad I got to experience the liberation from bondage with all of you over Zoom. It was really special. And next year, let us be in Selinsgrove!
7. Going to the Sisterhood of Salaam Shalom conference with Bri Watson and Sana Ahmed! This was an amazing (and exhausting!) event, and getting to know these two amazing people better was an incredible experience. At the conference, we heard from interfaith teen leaders from the Pittsburgh-area, learned about religious freedom and the legal system, and heard a presentation about getting involved in local politics!
6. Organizing the Hillel House kitchen. Yeah, this is a weird one. But I can be a bit of an organizing junkie. I know all about the konmari method, I've read all about Swedish Death Cleaning. And once I purchased a label-maker to organize the cabinets.... hoo boy. All bets were off.
5. Hagshama with Josh and Emily, and Noa and Emily. For both semesters, Hagshama focused on learning about and reacting to anti-semitism. Hearing all of you discuss your experiences and thoughts about contemporary and historical anti-semitism was incredibly illuminating and thought-provoking with me. I am so honored to have been there for those conversations!
4. The MLK Interfaith Prayer Service. As part of this service, individuals from religious and cultural clubs had the option to make a square of a "Visions of Justice" quilt. Seeing the quilt come together was beautiful.
3. Working with Engagement Associates Sami and Talia. These wunderkids both taught me so much about the campus culture and climate at Susquehanna University. Furthermore, these amazing employees met with over 35 students at SU to encourage them to get more involved with Hillel. Meeting with you both was incredible -- and a lot of fun!
2. Hanging out awkwardly with the kitchen crew, Naomi and Sean. I never knew how "present" I should be during cooking and challah-making times. I often felt like I was in the way -- I cook, but I'm not a great cook, and I usually stare blankly around when cooking is going on around me. But even though I was often awkward, it was always super fun for me to see Jewish tradition being maintained through food every week.
1. Every single Shabbat. I had thought about listing some specific shabbat dinners on this list, but in reality, they were all incredible. You are such a wonderful community, and I am so happy to have been a part of it.
Honorable mentions, in no particular order:
1. Watching Matt W. learn how to lead birkat hamazon.
2. All of the bagel brunches.
3. Talking D&D and roleplaying with Molly, talking video games with Matt W.
4. Our Tisha B'Av seder with succulents and vegan foods.
5. The discussion of what makes a cup a cup-cup.
6. The excitement about getting the tiniest mason jars for kiddush.
7. Super Smash Bros. shabbat - turning the Hillel House into a video game gathering for a night!
8. High Holiday services and meals - including trying and failing to find a body of water for tashlich. It was my first time leading services, and I had a lot of fun with it!
9. Leading several Let's Talk! events in the CDI, and attending others. I am constantly wowed by the maturity and grace of SU students.
10. Meeting parents at Homecoming and Parents Weekend.
11. Working with Peterson Toscano to talk about queer and Jewish identities. I learned so much from Peterson and all of you!