Jewish students flock to specific university courses

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By Lexi Sugar
For Mitzpeh
@lexisugarmedia

 

BSCI170: Principles of Molecular & Cellular Biology and ENES140: Discovering New Ventures: Foundations in Entrepreneurship are two courses that are offered at this university. It is a little known fact that many Jewish students are supposedly enrolled in or have previously taken both of these courses.

“I took BSCI170 as a general education requirement; I took it with around 10 other students involved in Kedma, [a Jewish organization affiliated with Hillel on campus],” said Daphna Wieder, a sophomore kinesiology major.

Though both of these courses fulfill requirements for various majors, there are many questions as to why these seemingly different classes both attract the same crowd.

“ENES140 is definitely business related, and a lot of Jews are interested in business so it would make sense for them to want to take it. For BSCI170, people just took it if it was their major,” said Amanda Haimm, a junior psychology major.

Considering many Jewish students have registered in these classes for years, many feel that these seasoned professors know the drill when it comes to Jewish holidays and events.

“There is no Jewish element behind the class, but the teacher knew everything about Judaism which made it easier to talk to her about missing for holidays and Shabbat restrictions,” said Wieder.

Having a teacher who understands the Jewish holidays and their restrictions is crucial throughout the holiday-packed first couple weeks of school.

While the mystery of why these classes are appealing to Jewish students is open for interpretation, the courses themselves are mainly just requirements for many majors.

“It helped prepare me for my other science classes and gave me a good work ethic,” said Mikaela Abergel, a sophomore Letters and Sciences student.

Additionally, it is important to note that ENES140 is an online class, which may be an extremely appealing option for self-motivated college students.

ENES140 and BSCI170 may seem like they attract a “target audience,” but maybe word just travels fast among Jewish students at this university. Despite the idea that many Jewish students make up most of these specific classes, this is unproven and not entirely true.

Another class that is said to be popular within the Jewish community is ENES210: Entrepreneurial Opportunity Analysis and Decision-Making in 21st Century Technology Ventures.

Avia Sinai checks her ELMS account daily for her ENES210 assignments. Lexi Sugar/Mitzpeh.

“I found that I did know a lot of Jewish kids in the class, but I wouldn’t say the class was largely from that community necessarily. It’s a big class, so we definitely weren’t the majority,” said Raquel Zimmerman, a junior hearing and speech sciences major.

Though certain courses float around as suggestions within the Jewish community, none of these courses feature specific Jewish elements.

Haimm also noted that she completed both courses, yet her major only requires BSCI170.

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