Campus Conference Will Explore Judaic-Jesuit Ties

Campus Conference Will Explore Judaic-Jesuit Ties

Students at Boston College Hillel will host the first-ever national conference this weekend for Jewish students attending Jesuit universities and colleges.

The conference, titled "JSJU," will offer an opportunity for discussion of commonalties between the Judaic and Jesuit traditions and how to foster Jewish identity on Jesuit campuses.

The JSJU program will begin tomorrow, April 27, with a kabbalat Shabbat and dinner, followed by a performance by Boston University's Jewish a cappella group Kol Echad. Students will attend Temple Emanuel in Newton for Talmud study and Shabbat services on Saturday, and in the evening participants will observe Havdalah to mark the end of the Sabbath, followed by Israeli dancing.

Sunday will feature a keynote address followed by a panel discussion on the philosophical and theological overlap of the Judaic and Jesuit traditions. After lunch, participants will explore creative programming strategies for enriching Jewish student identity on Jesuit campuses.

"For as long as I can remember there have been Jewish students and faculty at BC, so I think it's a fascinating idea to gather Jewish students from Jesuit universities across the country and find out what their experience of Jesuit education has been," said Vice President for University Mission and Ministry Joseph A. Appleyard, SJ. "I would hope that one outcome of the meeting would be that BC can learn how to be even better at helping Jewish students and students from other religious backgrounds to grow in their own faith and practice while they are here."

"We are very excited about this conference," said JSJU Co-Coordinator Ari Shapiro, '01. "We are hoping it will give Jewish students who attend Jesuit colleges around the country the opportunity to share their experiences and to seek ways of preserving and promoting their Jewish identity. There is a lot of intellectual and practical ground to cover and we are looking forward to forging new friendships and partnerships across campuses."

JSJU is sponsored by Boston College, Hillel Council of New England's Jewish Student Projects and The Students Initiatives and Soref Grants of Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life, the world's largest Jewish campus organization with foundations and affiliates on 500 campuses around the globe.

"We are so fortunate to have the support of not only our own campus, but the regional and national offices as well," said BC Hillel's president, junior Brianne Nadeau. "All of this support has allowed us to truly strengthen our BC Jewish community and has given us the opportunity to reach out to other small Jewish communities on campuses around the country."

-Patricia Delaney


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