The Jewish Student Association (JSA) is a university organization that seeks to bring cultural awareness and address issues that affect the Jewish community.
Students of all religions are welcome to join the Jewish Student Association. Meetings occur generally every two weeks on Tuesdays from 6:30-7:30 p.m. in the Brown School of Business and Leadership. The club’s goal is to “promote and educate people on the Jewish faith,” said secretary/PR manager Taylor Murphy, adding, “Our main goal is to be as inclusive as possible and get students involved.”
Students should consider others’ traditions, including holidays such as Yom Kippur that have passed, and Sukkot, which just started. These holidays are both recognized and celebrated by the Jewish Student Association during the months of September and October.
The celebration of the Sukkot will be held for a week starting on Oct. 2 in front of the shuttle drop off at Owings Mills North. The club has created a man-made Sukkah “sanctuary” for anybody, including those of other religions, who would like to gather and enjoy food while celebrating the history behind this holiday. Other events that are held for religious holidays include Rosh Hashanah, Hanukkah, Purim, and a chocolate seder.
Club president Mordy Mandelbaum, said, “All are welcome to the Sukkah hut. Students can attend meetings and events even if they don’t know anything about our club. We try to take a democratic, dialogic approach, and we always try to incorporate new ideas from people who are non-Jewish and Jewish.”
Other clubs that work collaboratively with the Jewish Student Association include the Christian, Muslim, Film, SGA, and the LGBT clubs. The JSA is student-led with an advisor so members can participate in planning events.
“Our club gives not only knowledge to our students about the religion but serves as an outlet where people of all religions can discuss their ideas and learn about events,” said Murphy. The relatively new club that began in 2014 has impacted Stevenson University’s diversity programs to incorporate people who are of all religions, races and genders to enhance their goal of non-discrimination. Murphy and Mandelbaum plan to improve the Jewish Student Association by having more events, more promotion tactics and more speakers.
The Jewish Student Association welcomes anyone who wants to be a part of the Stevenson community, learn more about the religion, or simply celebrate the holidays in the upcoming months. For further information about the JSA, contact Murphy or Mandelbaum through campus email.