Connecting Jewish Students in Greek Life

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By Catherine Sheffo 

For Jewish students involved in Greek life, the one-mile gap between Hillel and fraternity row may seem a little smaller starting this semester.

The Jews in Greek Life Fellowship (JGLF), which will help connect students in frats and sororities to Jewish life on campus, officially launched this fall after a year of focus groups and test programming.

The fellowship is the brainchild of Danielle Horn, a junior middle school math and science education major and member of Phi Sig who used her project for the Campus Enterprise Initiative last year to address the disparities between Jewish and Greek life on campus.

“I think a lot of Jews in Greek life are not aware of all the amazing opportunities they have, why is there not a Jewish context in Greek life when so much of Greek life is Jewish?” she said.

The JGLF will help bridge this gap between the two and help students combine these very important aspects of their daily lives and identities.

Horn partnered with Hillel Engagement Associate Corinne Bernstein last year to begin bringing Jewish programming to Greek organizations and eventually make the fellowship a reality.

The fellowship will work with both religiously and non-religiously affiliated fraternities and sororities to throw Jewish educational, cultural, and religious events ranging from forums to alternative breaks.

The JGLF follows a traditional fellowship structure with a small group of students working together with the help of a staff member’s oversight.

Applicants for the fellowship, which has 11 working members currently representing six houses, interviewed for their positions last year.

The fellows, “generally speaking work on projects they’re inspired by,” Bernstein said.

Last year’s programming included late night munchies and an all-Greek Sadr in the spring that drew a crowd of 150 students, but so far, this year’s plans are less specific.

“I’m leaving it in their hands, I don’t want people to come up with things just to throw an event,” Bernstein said, “I want each individual fellow to do what they’re passionate about.”

This guiding passion for both Jewish and Greek life is at the center of all that the fellowship hopes to accomplish in the coming years.  Whether it be through involving students in existing opportunities or creating new ones, its main focus is on bringing people together.

“It’s crazy that we’ve watched this grow into a fellowship, it makes me so happy,” Horn said, “ Last year I never would have thought this would have been possible.”

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