Stretching from coast to coast, Hillels are reimagining Shabbat experiences to empower students to connect with Judaism and become Jewish leaders. Their creative efforts offer an alternative to traditional Shabbat services, which involve structured prayer in a synagogue.
But the beauty of Hillel is that everyone is welcome, no matter how “Jewish” they feel. Through my experiences, I realized that Judaism was a lot more relatable than what I learned in Hebrew school. In general, I started to feel more proud and more excited to be Jewish.
There are definitely moments within the LGBTQ community where I don’t feel accepted as Jewish, and within the Jewish community where I don’t feel accepted as queer. But what I think is really special about Hillel’s Nice Jewish Queers (NJQ), is that at the same time I’m really able to be accepted as both.