This past Wednesday night, TABC and Ma’ayanot hosted their annual Jewish Life on Campus program. The evening featured over 27 college students from such varied universities as Cornell, SUNY at Binghamton, Cooper Union, New York University, Columbia, University of Pennsylvania, Drexel, Princeton, Brandeis, Yale, Johns Hopkins, University of Maryland, Rutgers, Queens, UMass at Amherst and, of course, Yeshiva University. The participants were privileged to hear not only from them in round-robin sessions from which parents and students could choose, but from the Director of Professional Recruitment and Leadership Development for OU-JLIC (Orthodox Union-Jewish Learning Initiative on Campus) Rabbi Gideon Black, who clearly and persuasively explained the “what, why and how” of JLIC’s mission. Most of the carefully selected universities who were invited have JLIC rabbi/educators on their campuses. They are sent from the OU and work in partnership with Hillel, to help college students navigate the college environment and balance their Jewish commitments with their desire to engage in the secular world.
The evening was also enriched by the presence of many TABC and Ma’ayanot alumni, representing a full range of prestigious colleges. They spoke animatedly about the shiurim, minyanim and other Jewish-related activities that they make it their business to seek out and participate in, no matter which college they attend. Anyone watching these intelligent and exemplary Jewish youth speak so eloquently about the Jewish life they have chosen to either participate in or fundamentally create within the colleges of their choice would have been proud. It was a gratifying and humbling sight.
The program was jointly organized by the college guidance departments of TABC and Ma’ayanot, led by Dr. Garry Katz and Leebie Mallin.