By Max Boyarsky
Although some clubs and organizations at this university are having a difficult time planning events this semester, others are trudging through the obstacles.
Kedma, this university’s Orthodox community, announced the winners of their board elections on Dec. 13. New members elected were Shana Lowenstein as vice president, Zev Roberts as chessed chair, Meira Kidorf as education chair, Aviva Levi as collaboration chair and Ayelet Fried as fundraising chair. Returning members, who were elected last spring for this fall semester and will continue their positions are Eitan Galper as treasurer, Ariela Bengio as social chair, Judah Lesser as tech chair, Ayelet Fried as fundraising chair and Gabe Dayanim as Shabbat chair. Jacquelyn Leffel, who served as vice president in the fall, will transition to be president for the spring. Leffel also works as Mitzpeh’s social media editor.
This year, candidates answered questions over Zoom on Dec. 8, and presented short speeches, even though the only contested position was for chessed chair.
“Overall it went well considering we had to do everything online,” said Shana Lowenstein, a sophomore intending to major in marketing and the newly elected vice president of Kedma. Lowenstein served as chesed (community service) chair for the board this past semester. “Usually we have speeches in person.”
Although online, the event was a success and the speeches were very creative, according to Dalia Planer, past president of Kedma and senior kinesiology major.
“I think overall it went as expected, unfortunately, one of the positions was contested,” she said.
Kedma has existed at this university since 1997, and the pandemic has posed a huge shift to the organization’s operation. They cooperate with the Hillel to organize activities for the Jewish community, but some normal events, like dodgeball tournaments and organized prayer time, have been limited this semester.
“It has changed a little bit because of the online and hybrid environment,” said Jacquelyn Leffel, a junior human development major and the newly elected president of Kedma. “We like to hold a lot of social events, we do an ice skating event and a dodgeball event … we did things that are not possible now.”
Some board members have had a semester to prepare, and have a plan to adapt to the pandemic and the new vaccine.
“I am very excited to continue to do work for this community,” said Lowenstein, who will be vice president after serving as chessed chair last semester. “Now that we had a semester to practice, we’re going to take all that into account and make the next semester the best it can possibly be.”
The new board was officially announced on Dec. 13 and posted on the Kedma website. Planer, who is now off of the board, has high hopes for the incoming team.
“I think they are gonna do a really good job next semester,” said Planer.
Kedma has still been conducting some in-person and online events this past semester despite the pandemic. Specifically, they collaborated with Yachad, an organization that works with kids with disabilities.
“We also had our only in-person event this semester which was a 5k. It was to Save a Child’s Heart,” she said.
Although there are limited in-person events, members are continually active in both their Facebook and Whatsapp groups that publicize different ideas. They encourage students to ask any halachic (Jewish law) questions through their Whatsapp group.
Students can find more information about Kedma through their website.