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Students mark Rosh Hashana on campus

Juni+Nelson+%2F+Arizona+Daily+Wildcat%0AStudents+gather+at+Hillel+Center+to+celebrate+the+beginning+of+Rosh+Hashanah.+This+is+the+first+celebration+of+the+holiday+since+the+renovation+of+Hillel+Center+
Annie Marum
Juni Nelson / Arizona Daily Wildcat Students gather at Hillel Center to celebrate the beginning of Rosh Hashanah. This is the first celebration of the holiday since the renovation of Hillel Center

Campus Jewish organizations celebrated the beginning of Rosh Hashana on Wednesday.

Hillel, Chabad and Jewish Arizonans on Campus all offered both traditional and reform services and meals to celebrate the holiday, which marks the Jewish New Year. Services will continue until Friday.

Michelle Blumenburg, executive director of the UA Hillel Center, stressed the importance of giving students, especially those who are busy, a place to practice their faith on campus.

“Some students feel they need to make a choice between going to class and observing a Jewish holiday,” Blumenberg said, “by having services right here on campus we know there are students who pop in for 10 to 15 minutes so at least we’re here, we’re available.”

The Hillel services are for students wishing to attend a more reform service, however they are open to all who wish to come.

The Chabad of Arizona is part of a network of Chabad houses located around the world focused on providing religious support and a place for students to feel at home regardless of their locations. Chabad offers services on all High Holy Days and a homemade Shabbat dinner every Friday that is open to all students. Rabbi Yossi Naomi Winner, who oversees these activities, said he measures the success of Chabad by the actions of students who utilize its services.

“Our philosophy is that one light in a dark room can bring lots of light, every good deed a student does is an end to ourselves, it’s a success for ourselves,” he said.

Winner said Chabad strives to maintain an atmosphere that creates a community of the students who are involved in the organization. Chabad offered a more traditional lunch and service on Thursday for those observing the holiday.

Jewish Arizonans on Campus, also known as JAC, is an organization exclusive to the UA and Arizona State University. It is offering a lunch and service today beginning at 10 a.m., as well as dinner beginning at 8 p.m.

The Chabad Rosh Hashana celebrations kicked off with a short service that was led by a student as well as Winner. The service was followed by a dinner set up in a large tent in the Chabad backyard with around 100 students in attendance. The meal was kept traditional, and the students were treated to brisket, challah, vegetables, apples and honey. The combination of apples and honey is a traditional food for the holiday because it symbolizes a sweet new year.

“I don’t say I have a preference for either (service), both are very good and very similar,” said Nicole Friedman, a junior studying pre-communication, who attended both the Hillel and Chabad services. She said she is planning on also attending JAC services.

Winner said he hopes “to reach out to every type of Jewish student at the University of Arizona.”

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