Campus Life, News

Hillel connects students during High Holidays

Yamim Noraim, the Days of Awe, has arrived for Jewish students on the University of Miami’s Coral Gables campus.

Many who are observing the High Holidays are coming together as a community and family at UM’s Hillel. The days of repentance began on Sept. 4 with Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, and ends at sundown Saturday with Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement and the holiest time of the year.

“This is a time about complete introspection and forces us to do an accounting of our souls and actions from the past year and make amends, repair relationships and enable ourselves to fulfill our true potential,” said Robyn Fisher, the assistant director at Hillel for the past eight years.

Hillel has not only become a home to her, but to many Jewish students who find it a place of comfort.

During the High Holidays, the number of people attending services at Hillel tends to skyrocket, especially the out-of-state students with no family in Miami. This year’s Rosh Hashanah services drew more than 200 guests for services and dinner. The turnout left the Hillel staff excited and anticipating an even greater number for Yom Kippur, which begins at sundown Friday.

“Rosh Hashanah fell during the middle of the week, leaving students with classes they weren’t able to miss or get out of,” Fisher said. “With Kol Nidre for Yom Kippur falling on Friday, students have no excuse of not going to class, so I expect the turnout to be much greater.”

Fisher, who is also studying to be a rabbi, finds joy in expressing and sharing her Jewish knowledge with others. At Rosh Hashanah services, Fisher produced breakout sessions and sermons where she spoke of destiny. This encouraged those who attended to observe their own potential and ability to be true to themselves.

“After one time at Hillel, I’ve grown to love it,” said Emma Drooks, a sophomore who has no family in Miami. “I came to services just to observe the holiday, but I left feeling like I had a new family and home.”

Realizing that she now has a new place to call home on campus, Drooks is happily ready to go back to services this weekend and feels comfortable in doing so.

Kol Nidre services begin at 6:30 p.m. Friday. Yom Kippur services continue at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, followed by Yizkor and Neilah at 6 p.m. The period is marked by intensive prayer and fasting.

Right after Neilah will be breakfast Oneg. For the first time ever, a small charge of $12 was asked for the Rosh Hashanah dinner to help alleviate the expenses. Fisher said there will be no charge for Yom Kippur’s breakfast meal because staff would like for more people to stay after services.

Junior Cameron Brodeur has learned over the years to appreciate Hillel’s benefits, especially after attending Birthright in Israel through Hillel. Birthright is a free 10-day heritage trip to Israel for Jewish people between the ages of 18 and 26.

“Birthright changed my life, and so did Hillel,” Brodeur said. “They were there for me every step of the way and did everything possible to make sure I could get onto that trip. They are some of the most incredible people I have ever met.”

In addition to High Holiday services, Hillel puts on many other events throughout the year, giving students the ability to be involved with their faith year-round. With volunteer aspects such as Challah for Hunger or its annual fundraiser, Style Mitzvah, students can find something to be involved in or even just make friends by attending Shabbat services and complimentary dinner on Friday nights.

If You Go

What/When: Kol Nidre services will be held 6:30 p.m. Friday. Yom Kippur services will be at 9:30 a.m. Saturday. Yizkor and Neilah will be held at 6 p.m. Saturday.

Where: UM Hillel

September 12, 2013

Reporters

Danielle Mashal


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

It’s the play Miami Hurricanes fans will never forget — and Florida State fans are trying to forget. ...

Miami Hurricanes fans might recall their favorite college football players in past years dreaming of ...

The new quarterback is usually the ones fans gush over. For the University of Miami, last season it ...

Debate all you want, but University of Miami football coach Mark Richt made it clearer than ever Wed ...

Last year, when University of Miami tailback Mark Walton attended the Atlantic Coast Conference Foot ...

UM dining services team earns national recognition for special event catering. ...

From hammerheads to great whites, University of Miami researcher Neil Hammerschlag is a dedicated sp ...

An ACLU report authored by UM sociologists documents racial and ethnic disparities in Miami-Dade Cou ...

Following the summit between Trump and Putin, reaction from politicians, pundits and former intellig ...

A School of Communication associate professor played an important hand—an artistic one!—in World Cup ...

Miami senior Tyler Gauthier was named to the 2018 Fall Watch List for the Rimington Trophy presented ...

Miami junior wide receiver Ahmmon Richards was among those named to the watch list for the 2018 Bile ...

University of Miami junior running back Travis Homer was named a preseason candidate for the Doak Wa ...

Six former Canes competed on NBA Summer League teams, with three averaging at least 10 points per ga ...

Quick Hits gives University of Miami volleyball fans an opportunity to get to know the new student-a ...

TMH Twitter
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.