By: Jessica Turgeon
On a Catholic-affiliated campus such as Marist College, it is important to have a variety of religious groups for everyone to be a part of. According to sophomore Alyssa Cariani, President of the Jewish Students Group, the goal of the group is to, “build awareness of Judaism around Marist.” The Jewish Students Group reaches out to students who wish to connect with others of the Jewish faith or who just want to learn. “I figured that since it’s such a prominent religion in America, at least some people should learn more about it!”
The group of about 20 students (with new members at every meeting) meets every Thursday night to discuss upcoming events, as well as to take part in song and prayer. New this semester, the club is focusing their attention on their transition into setting up a Marist Hillel chapter. Hillel is the foundation for a Jewish life on campus.
“I know a lot of people who refused to apply to Marist because of the lack of the Jewish community on campus,” says Cariani. “I think that having Hillel on campus will bring an entirely different crowd. It will also help Marist’s Jews feel more comfortable at school and be a ton of fun.”
Cariani realizes that it is important for the Jewish students on campus to get together and get to know each other. She says that this club is one of the more active clubs on campus, and is very involved in the Marist community and surrounding areas.
The events planned for this coming semester: a Jewish Film Festival, a Passover Seder, and the Holocaust remembrance lecture, as well as learning Jewish history from Marist professors and applying to become a Hillel will, “help both Jewish and non-Jewish students learn more about Judaism, but also build friends in the process!”
This small but determined group has made a niche for themselves here at Marist.