By Jazmin Conner
For Mitzpeh

Maryland Hillel invited students to come and make their own matzah pizzas at La Plata Hall Wednesday night at its event, “Lotsa Matzah Pizza.”

“Having this event kind of just gives you another outlet to feel like you can still celebrate the holiday even if you’re not at home,” said Nicole Pomerantz, a sophomore public policy major.

Students only needed three ingredients to make their pizzas: sauce, cheese, and most importantly matzah.

Pomerantz, Seth Gleaner, and Mia Kaufman collectively make up the engagement intern team at Hillel and together they planned the event.

One of the ways that Maryland Hillel works to bring the Jewish community together is through their internships. Interns create programs for upperclassmen and underclassmen and host separate events for North and South Campus so that students can get involved at their convenience.  

“I don’t think it’s a problem of having events. I think it’s a problem of getting people actually there,” said Gleaner, a sophomore letters and sciences student.

But the main job of a Maryland Hillel intern is to be a familiar face for students.

Last year, Pomerantz realized that there weren’t many food choices at The Diner that she could eat during Passover. So this year, upon her suggestion, Maryland Hillel hosted an event on North Campus, gearing it towards underclassmen so they could have a chance to celebrate the holiday even though they weren’t home.

Students gather for matzah pizza after an unexpected meeting in the Mutli-Purpose room forced them to move to the La Plata Hall kitchen. Jazmin Conner/Mitzpeh.

They planned to have the “Lotsa Matzah Pizza” event in the La Plata Hall lounge but moved it last minute to the kitchen when the original room became unavailable.

“We didn’t actually have to prep that much. We got all the resources. We got the matzah. We got the tomato sauce and the cheese, and we transported it over here,” said Gleaner. “We’re giving people a chance to observe in a fun way, eating pizza, so that they still feel like they’re a part of the holiday even if they don’t observe the whole week.”

Hillel sponsors a diverse array of activities throughout the school year,  including social, cultural, religious and educational programs, according to Maryland Hillel’s website. In addition to the “Lotsa Matzah Pizza” event, they also give students the opportunity to sign up for meals for the week-long celebration of Passover.

“It’s a good way to keep in touch with my religion,” said Kaufman, a sophomore special education major who started going to Hillel events in the first couple weeks of her freshman year. “I definitely met a lot of people that I didn’t know at this event.”

Seth Abramczyk, a senior mechanical engineering major at the University of Texas at Dallas, contacted Maryland Hillel after hearing about the event on Facebook and decided to attend. Abramczyk moved to Washington D.C. a couple of months ago, so he used the opportunity to meet new people.

This was his first time having matzah pizza. “I think I should have added more cheese, but besides that it was good,” he said.


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