On July 31st, I arrived in St. Louis Missouri for a four day, Hillel-sponsored, internship conference. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. All I knew was that I had been invited to this conference along with three other Jewish Mason students, as well as Jewish students from all over the country, to learn about engaging our fellow Jews on our college campuses. The four Mason Hillel interns hit it off right away, and I could tell we would get along great.
During Hillel Institute I not only learned about great ways to meet other Jews on campus, but how other Jewish students identified themselves. It was amazing to see that it didn’t matter to anyone who was more observant or knowledgeable; the fact that we were all Jewish was good enough.
I came on this trip not really expecting to learn so much about myself, but after many heart-to-heart talks with my group and the moving speech by Hillel President Eric Fingerhut, I discovered a new aspect of my Jewish self. I feel more comfortable in my Jewish identity and what it means to me to be Jewish, and I’m ready to help other Jewish students at Mason figure out what their Judaism means to them.
Arielle Flax is a junior at George Mason University, majoring in Theatre. She loves being Jewish and hopes to spread some of that love around this year!