“Being Jewish has always been a part of my family — a central part of my life. And I tapped into my Judaism when I enrolled at Virginia Military Institute. During my first year, I endured intense basic training, known as the ‘Rat Line.’ I found peace outside of the rigors of training at Hillel. It was a place where I could be Jewish, relax and be with friends. There isn’t a Hillel at VMI, but I discovered there was one at Washington and Lee University, just a short walk from VMI. I remember my first Shabbat at W&L Hillel. A student named Jordan Lynn Goldstein, who’s now training to be a cantor in Israel, was leading services. She had such a beautiful voice, and I broke down and started crying. I never felt closer to my religion and myself. And I have Hillel to thank for that.” — Aaron Kubat, Virginia Military Institute
Photo caption: Aaron Kubat, middle, holds a flag with the Virginia Military Institute emblem during a January trip to Israel.