The Jewish Union (JU) is a club at Blair that allows for members of the Jewish community to come together as a group to discuss issues and celebrate holidays. It also provides a space for curious students to learn more about the religion. This year, the group has a total of around 20 members with many Jewish faculty joining as well. Daisy Khan ’19 and Jake Leddy ’19 are both presidents of the JU.
The JU is probably most commonly known for running Jewish Vespers. Here, members of the group can choose to be exempt from the annual Christmas Vespers and instead celebrate a tradition from their own faith with one another. This year at Vespers, the group had a discussion about what it means to be Jewish at Blair when surrounded by so many who have different beliefs. A lot of students had previously come from areas with high Jewish populations, therefore, the transition to Blair was drastic. Daisy ’19 states: “My four years being a part of the Jewish Union [were] an amazing experience which allowed me to feel comfortable with people from my own community who have similar backgrounds.”
What does the future hold for the JU?
The Jewish Union hopes to spend more holidays together including Passover, which celebrates the liberation of the Jewish people from Egypt; Chanuka, the festival of light; as well as Shabbat dinners, which mark the end of the week.
Ms. Litvin expressed her thoughts about the small Jewish community at Blair, explaining that she thinks the JU “provides a nice opportunity for Jewish students to be together for the holidays without feeling alienated from other students.”
Overall, the JU gives students the opportunity to form a smaller community inside the larger community with others from the same religious background. It allows for students to interact with others also looking for a place where people share similar ideas and upbringings, and though small, it has had a large impact on its many members throughout the years.
(Copyright 2019 Molly Sysler)