Capital University’s Jewish Student Association (JSA) has recently been recognized as a part of Hillel through The Ohio State University (OSU).
Hillel is the world’s largest Jewish campus organization, with 550 representations across America and throughout the globe. Founded in 1923, it is named after Hillel, a Jewish rabbi who lived in the first century A.D. and is famous for what is essentially the Jewish version of the golden rule.
OSU has one of the oldest Hillel chapters in the country, founded in 1925, and Capital JSA is very excited to be a part of their history. While OSU is a regional Hillel and serves chapters all across central Ohio, Capital is the only institution besides OSU to have a featured spot on the website.
“They serve over 3,000 students, and it’s been a great facility for us,” Capital University Jewish Student Association President Austin Reid said.
Hillel has offered many opportunities to the JSA. A number of Capital students have participated in the Birthright Israel Program, which is an opportunity through Hillel International. This program offers a free trip to Israel to the applicants, which can help to strengthen their Jewish identity, Jewish communities and connection with Israel and its people.
Capital JSA is an organization which seeks to serve as a resource for anyone who is curious to know more about the culture and practice associated with Judaism. Their membership is open to both Jewish and non-Jewish students, and most students who attend their events are not Jewish.
Though the organization is smaller in number, they have established their presence over the past few years with two menorah lightings on campus, as well as holding Sukkot in October, which was covered in a story by the Columbus Dispatch.
On April 6, JSA will participate in the Office of Diversity and Inclusion’s event “Eating Good in the Neighborhood,” which offers students a chance to try foods from different cultures. The organization will also be holding a workshop on April 13 called “Words to Action,” which offers information on free speech laws and combating hate speech.
Reid hopes that this recognition will make people more aware of the Jewish community on campus and see the Jewish enrollment increase at the university.
“We feel there is so much potential on this campus for Jewish life, and we just want more people to be aware of that,” Reid said.
With the great Jewish community in Bexley, Jewish students have the potential to grow in their faith on Capital’s campus, and hopefully the recognition and association with OSU Hillel will make that more apparent to prospective Jewish students and continue to enrich the diverse religious community on campus.