Oy Bay!

"My heart is in the east, and I in the uttermost west." — Yehudah Ha-Levi

Graduating from Student to Adult

Posted by lchaimlover on April 11, 2007

Cross Posted from Hillel of Silicon Valley’s Bit N Bytes Newsletter per Oyster’s request 


Above: Riding into the sunset with my camel and my friend Amanda. Birthright 2006.
Who’d have thought a country girl from Virginia would end up in Israel?

I have spent three of my four years of college a part of the Hillel community. In a story I’m sure every parent has heard a thousand times, I just came for the free food.

A friend had convinced me to come along, and as I had little better to do, I agreed. It was then that I embarked upon my journey–rediscovering my Judaism, meeting amazing people, and going on amazing trips. Has it been easy? Not really.

I recently graduated from Santa Clara University. SCU is a school that is 80% Christian/Catholic. The most the general non-Jewish college student gets about Judaism is yarmulkes and Fiddler on the Roof. So how do explain to your non-Jewish friends when one day you’re eating shrimp and the next day you’re kosher?

When everyone else is out partying Friday nights, I wanted to be at Shabbat dinner. Hillel provided me with a sense of home that no other place seemed to offer. I am a part of an amazing and diverse community of people who have very little in common except the fact that we all identify Jewish in one way or another. This doesn’t stop us from signing up to go to Israel together or sitting in on an anti-Israel speaker.

When I first walked into Hillel, honestly, I knew Israel was a Jewish state, but I don’t think I could have pointed it out on a map. Now, not only have I prayed at the Western Wall and climbed Masada, but I have created my own events on the many faces and stories of Israel. Hillel has created a passion for Judaism and Israel within me that has changed my life. So this is my story; but imagine what everyone else’s is. Someone has to provide the opportunity for that story to develop. So when it came time for graduation in March, without hesitation, I made my first pledge to Hillel. It only made sense; after all that Hillel has given me, it was time that I started giving back. The little purple house is exactly what it claims to be: A Center for Jewish Life. I intend to keep it that way.


5 Responses to “Graduating from Student to Adult”

  1. G-D SQUAD said

    I had a similar experience in college, really connecting with my Jewish roots etc. Not so much at Hillel, but, I know how you feel. I hope the journey continues for you!

  2. lchaimlover said

    Thanks so much! Same to you!

  3. Oyster said

    G-D SQUAD: I know what you’re referring to, and LchaimLover isn’t called L’CHAIM-LOVER for nuthin’! She’s down with the Rebbe. 🙂

    LchaimLover said, This doesn’t stop us from signing up to go to Israel together or sitting in on an anti-Israel speaker.

    Just to be clear, by “sitting in” you mean monitoring what an anti-Israel speaker is saying, as opposed to going there in support of what they’re saying, yes?

  4. lchaimlover said


    Yes I mean monitoring, not supporting. Sometimes I think you think I am a spy…

  5. Oyster said

    It’s funny that you say that, because sometimes I think that you think that I think that you’re a spy… coincidence? I THINK NOT!!

    Naw, I just wanted things to be clear on that point, and for you not to be misunderestimated misunderstood…

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