Wesleyan Students Capture “Vibrant Wesleyan Jewish Life” in Forward

Writing in the Forward, Matt Renetzky ’18 and Talia Kaplan ’18 share their experience with the “vibrant Wesleyan Jewish Life” scene.

“Perhaps the most unique thing about our community is just how student-run it is. Jewish life evolves from year-to-year based on the desires and needs of the current student body,” write Kaplan, who is affiliated with the Wesleyan Jewish Community, and Renetzky, who is affiliated with Chabad. “If you’re looking for pluralism in Jewish background and practice, Wesleyan is for you.”

They explain:

“In addition to academic offerings (the Jewish and Israel Studies certificate, the Contemporary Israeli Voices series, and the Israeli Film Festival), the university provides kosher/halal food in the dining hall (Sunday-Friday lunch). There are four Israel/Palestine student groups: Cardinals for Israel, J Street U, Jewish Voice for Peace, and Students for Justice in Palestine. We also have students for whom Israel/Palestine is not a major tenet of their Judaism. Less than a half mile from campus, there’s a Conservative synagogue that offers morning minyan and Shabbat morning services and hires Wesleyan students to teach Hebrew school. When it comes to on-campus religious, spiritual, and cultural needs, Chabad and/or the Wesleyan Jewish Community are always there.”

The article also includes quotes from numerous current and former Wesleyan students describing their own experiences, including Ben Klausner ’18:

“Having a reflective group of Jews that I can spend time with casually and also do ritual things with has made me into a more thoughtful Jew and person. WJC has been both a haven of familiarity for me, a day school kid, while also pushing me to actively engage with my Judaism.”

Jane Eisner ’77 is editor-in-chief of the Forward.