If I wanted to be Jewish on campus, I needed to step up and get things going.
“My mother is Jewish, and my father is Catholic. When I started college at the University of Connecticut, UConn Hillel quickly became a very comfortable, staple part of my college experience. So I figured when I transferred to Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University – Prescott Campus to pursue my dream of becoming an air ambulance pilot, ERAU Hillel would be like UConn Hillel. And that meant I could be passive in my Judaism. I just had to show up and everything would be done for me. It turned out that wasn’t the case. Our Jewish community is very homey and tight-knit because there’s such a small group of us. So if I wanted to be Jewish and actively participate on campus, I needed to step up and get things going. Seeing the struggles of my Hillel made me want to make a connection with Hillel International to find out what resources I could bring back to campus. And it also made me realize that Embry-Riddle can’t be the only small Hillel that’s in need of resources. That’s why I applied to become a member of Hillel International’s Student Cabinet. During my year on the cabinet, there were 16 other students who served. They came from all around the world — the U.S., South America, Israel, Russia. I realized that Hillels differ from place to place. And that helped me apply what I learned back on campus. Even though we had so many varying opinions, our Jewish identities always helped us find a common ground. It was Judaism that brought us together in the first place.” — Leah Murphy, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University – Prescott Campus