June 15, 2024

Jewish Cultural Awareness Week

The basic understanding of the Jewish culture is a mix of both Jewish law and Jewish traditions. The traditions keep the Jewish people united while the laws keep the Jewish people steeped in history. Today the line between these two important aspects has been blurred, and laws and traditions have become one and the same. It is important to understand the differences between the two and how these differences make the Jewish culture what it is today. Please join the Jewish Student Association and the James Farmer Multicultural Center in this two week celebration highlighting the laws and traditions of Jewish culture.

Israeli Folk Dancing
November 7
Lee Hall 411, 4 – 5:30 p.m.

To celebrate Jewish culture, join the Jewish Student Association for a night of traditional dancing. There will be a mix of traditional and modern dances. These dances are easy to learn and there is no skill level needed. Join us in this fun and meaningful cultural tradition that spans the generations.

Riding Into The West:
Jewish Life Across America
November 9
Lee Hall 412, 6 – 9 p.m.

The Frisco Kid is a film about a Polish rabbi who wanders through the Old West on his way to lead a synagogue in San Francisco. On the way he is nearly burnt at the stake by Indians and almost killed by outlaws. Please join the Jewish Student Association for the showing of the film and a discussion directly following the movie.

Trivia Judaica
November 10
Underground, 8 p.m.

Think you know a lot about the J in JSA? Come out to trivia to see how much you really know about Jewish holidays, food, pop culture, religion and Israel. Play alone or with a group of friends.
Co-hosted by UPC.

Laws Meet Jewish Life
November 15
Red Room, 6:30 – 9 p.m.

Jewish Student Association/Hillel are pleased to present Dr. Emile Lester from the Department of Political Science and International Affairs, who will be giving a lecture and discussion on the topic of Judaism and the United States Government. The topics that will be discussed during the presentation will range from Israel, social issues, economic issues, the influence of Judaism on the domestic and foreign policies of the United States, and the influence of Judaism historically and currently on the United States government.

Jewish Cultural Celebration
Keynote Speaker:
Roya Hakakian
November 16
Great Hall, Woodard Campus Center, 7 p.m.


Celebrated poet and filmmaker Roya Hakakian is passionate about raising awareness of today’s human rights issues, many of which are overlooked. A founding member of the Iran Human Rights Documentation Center and a fellow at Yale’s Whitney Humanities Center, Hakakian has written Journey from the Land of No, an account of her life growing up as a Jewish teenager in post-revolutionary Iran.




Shabbat Dinner:

A Traditional Weekly Feast
November 18
Faculty/Staff Dining Room,
Seacobeck Hall, 6 – 7:30 p.m.
Cost: Students – 1 meal + $4,
Non-students – $10

The Sabbath is the day of rest for the Jewish community that begins at sundown on Friday and continues until three stars appear in the sky on Saturday night. During this time Jews abstain from labor of any kind and spend the day with families and friends. Traditionally, Jewish families commence the Sabbath with Shabbat dinner on Friday night. Come and enjoy a traditional Shabbat dinner and learn more about this weekly tradition.



About Brynn Boyer

Brynn Boyer is assistant director of media and public relations and a 2010 graduate of UMW.