By Harrison Goldstein
The Kedma board welcomed five new members to its ranks in addition to establishing a new position when its election polls closed at 9 p.m. Tuesday night.
The newly-appointed members of the board include freshman Jacob Nelson (Fundraising Chair) and sophomores Chad Simon (Vice President), Zoe May (Chessed Chair), Aryeh Roberts (Education Chair), and Mayan Beroukhim (Collaboration Chair).
“Overall, the election process went very well, lots of people were interested,” said Kedma’s incumbent president Aaron Yitzhaky, a senior kinesiology major. “The fact that we got so many people interested is a testament to how much people care about the community and want to be involved.”
Simon, who will be officially thrust into his role as vice president on Friday, says he ran for the position because he wants to create a better social environment for students in Kedma.
“The Orthodox community is interesting because there’s a wide spectrum of Orthodox, ranging from extremely observant to [showing] up only on Friday night, and not keeping Shabbat,” said Simon, a bioengineering major. “How do you appeal to this entire spectrum?”
Simon’s goal is to make it so that all people who identify as Orthodox are comfortable attending events, regardless of where they fall on the spectrum.
“Kedma does not stand for one end of the spectrum. It’s here for all orthodox Jews,” Simon said. “I want to leverage board and community members to get a wide variety of kids to show up to events and make the events as comfortable as possible.”
The remainder of the board is comprised of returning members Elisha Galler (President), Avi Denicoff (Treasurer), Gavriel Epstein (Tech Chair), Shira Clements (Social Chair) and Shoshana Kott (Shabbat Chair).
The new position that was established in this election is the collaboration chair, which Beroukhim proposed. The proposal had to pass a majority vote from the board, and then pass a two-thirds vote from the entire Kedma community in order to amend Kedma’s constitution and add the position.
Beroukhim said she has felt the position was necessary for relationships with other communities ever since she joined Kedma.
“I think it’s important for different Jewish groups within the Hillel community to collaborate and have a strong relationship,” said Beroukhim, a special education major. “Kedma is a strong community, and it would make us even stronger to reach out to other groups, talk to other people and unify and strengthen the vibrant community that we have.”
As far as specific plans go for her new role, Beroukhim has a variety of ideas. First, she’d like to organize the co-hosting of events between Kedma and other Jewish groups such as Mishelanu, Ometz and Ruach to foster a sense of community among different Jews. Next, she’d like to organize more events with Achim, which pairs an older member of the community with an incoming freshman or transfer student, like a big and little brother or sister. Finally, Beroukhim plans to emphasize a program called Heart to Heart Meals, in which someone can invite uninvolved students to a Jewish meal and get the costs of the meal reimbursed.
There were a few opponents to the addition of the collaboration chair position. Their main argument was that it is not Kedma’s responsibility to unite the different Jewish groups within Hillel, but the responsibility of Hillel in general. Regardless, the board passed the vote unanimously, and Beroukhim garnered well over the two-thirds vote required by the entire community to accept the position.
“I think we’re all really excited, and the board and people who I’ll be working with are very willing to help and contribute ideas,” Beroukhim said. “This is my passion, so I’m going to give it my all.”