“Stretch and Kvetch” participants after their first workout session. Jenna Pierson/Mitzpeh.

By Jenna Pierson
Staff writer

“Stretch and Kvetch,” a new Jewish female workout group, held their first workout session at Hillel on Wednesday, February 27, from 5-6 p.m.

The group of seven girls gathered together to kick off the weekly program with high-intensity interval training (HIIT), led by student duo Annabelle Baer and Joanna Kramer.

“Stretch and Kvetch” is the first of its kind for the Jewish community at this university, and it hopes to create a fun and encouraging environment for active young women.

Noa Havivi, the engagement associate at Hillel, created the program. She is passionate about fitness and wanted to share it with others.

“It’s an awesome way to bring a group of people together to do something that is fun and low-stress,” Havivi said. “If it comes up, I would also love to use it as an opportunity to talk about community and how we can create an empowering space for Jewish women.”

Havivi emphasized that while it is easy to plan Hillel events that only last a day or two, she finds it rewarding to shape a program that she hopes will extend long-term and create valuable bonds with women in the community.

“I think it’s easy to create events for women that are like spa nights or cookie baking, so it’s really cool to switch it up and focus on something more sporty,” Havivi said.

Although the program is currently in its trial and error phase, she is optimistic that it will grow over time and that “Stretch and Kvetch” will be able to explore different types of activities together.

“Today we have some students leading HIIT,” Havivi said. “But I have also heard some interest in trying yoga in the future together or going for runs when it gets warmer, so I am excited for that variety.”

“Stretch and Kvetch” is open to all female Jewish terps, regardless of experience or physical ability. The group hopes to create a safe space for both inner and outer growth.

“I think I am excited to share things that I have learned about fitness, and to help others find getting fit to be fun and not just a chore,” said Joanna Kramer, a sophomore psychology and criminal justice major and one of the HIIT leaders.

The first session was full of laughter, pop music and sweat.

“I thought the first session was really fun,” said Annabelle Baer, a sophomore computer science and finance major and the other HIIT leader. “I’m excited for people from all other parts of campus to come and try new things with us.”


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