This spring, 233 people gathered in the Vandervort Room to participate in Shabbat 200, a collaborate effort between HWS Hillel, Geneva’s Temple Beth El, and Sodexo to reach out to the greater HWS and Geneva communities and share Jewish culture and cuisine.
“Since 10 percent of our campus is Jewish, we wanted to bring that representation to our event by aiming to get 10 percent of the school’s total population – or 200 people, to attend,” explained co-president of Hillel Emily Hamburger ’13, noting that their goals and expectations were exceeded by the turnout – a promising sign for next year’s event.
Co-president Jenna Lohre ’12 echoed her sentiment. “We hope to continue this event each year. Thanks to the success of this year’s event, we hope that next year the members of Hillel will challenge themselves and have a Shabbat 250. We’re excited that so many HWS students know the significance of Shabbat in the Jewish culture and know that there is a delicious, Kosher Shabbat meal available each week.”
The dinner was organized by the Hillel board, co-presidents Lohre and Hamburger, and faculty adviser and the Director of the Abbe Center for Jewish Life Lorinda Weinstock. Sodexo employee Joe Hatfield (“Showtime Joe”) oversaw all of the meal preparation. There were a wide range of participants, including HWS students, faculty and their families and Temple Beth El congregants.
“I have never gone to a Shabbat dinner before,” said Söeren Wacker ’14, of Hattstedt, Germany. “However, after going to Shabbat 200 and seeing how friendly everyone is and how accepting they are of different ideas and cultures, I am planning to attend their weekly dinners as often as I can.”
Known for bringing together members of the HWS community to create a wider Jewish community on campus, Kosher Shabbat dinners are held every Friday throughout the academic year in the Abbe Center for Jewish Life. For more information, call Hillel at ext. 3385 or e-mail Lorinda Weinstock.