I can open that door. And so, it’s almost like I’m a community gatekeeper.



November 5, 2018

“I think my one big student interaction actually happened last night during Breathing Torah. I was at the front desk at Northwestern Hillel and I let a student in. And I think she’s probably a younger underclassman. I said, ‘Are you looking for Breathing Torah?’ And she goes, ‘Yeah. It’s in the library, right?’ And I was like, ‘Yeah.’ I’d seen her the week before, so I knew that she was heading toward Breathing Torah. I said, ‘Oh, I’ll show you up to the library.’ And she was like, ‘Hopefully I won’t need an escort every single week that I come.’ And it was this very cute moment of OK, even though you don’t know where the library is and the non-Jew does, it’s a really cool connection to have the ability for me to go show her where the library is, even though I’m almost as new as she is in the Hillel community. We had that very brief but very connected moment of, ‘Absolutely, I’ll go show you where Breathing Torah is.’ And so, I think that’s really cool that I might not be able to go into that room and understand what’s going on during Breathing Torah, but that doesn’t mean that I can’t open the door for her. And so, it’s almost like I’m a gatekeeper. If someone wants to come into the Hillel community, maybe I’m not the authority on a lot of stuff, but how easy is it for me to open the door or direct someone to the correct location? And I still feel like I’m contributing. Me opening that door, me being that gatekeeper, me inspiring people to just interact with each other is something so easy, but it can be so monumental.” — Anne Krall, Northwestern University ‘19

Text and photo by Eden Lichterman.