By Blake TownsendFor Mitzpeh@blaket888The Kedma community together at an annual outdoor event (pre-COVID) in 2017. Courtesy of Kedma’s Facebook page.
Last Shabbat, Kedma, the Orthodox Jewish community at this university, reunited its members with their annual wiffleball tournament.
According to Kedma’s treasurer, Eitan Galper, a junior mechanical engineering major, there were a total of 32 participants playing, making 16 teams of two, and two umpires officiating in the tournament.
Originally, the tournament was scheduled to take place April 22, but it was postponed due to weather conditions. Galper said that two teams were discouraged from playing after the postponement, however, two other teams replaced their spots.
During Shabbat, Orthodox Jews typically refrain from using any form of technology from Friday evening to Saturday night.
“Most Shabbat events seem to be meal-related, so this is a fun event to have in the afternoon of a long Shabbat day,” said Alex Ghelman, a senior Kedma member majoring in information science and tournament participant. “It’s a fun activity that is not so physically exerting and people can come just to hang out outside in the nice weather with their friends.”
The tournament took place in the Chapel Field on Route 1 from 4-6 p.m. on May 1. In addition to the 32 players, many Kedma members came out to cheer for their friends.
“An amazing opportunity for a wide-open day to connect outside with other members within the community,” said Zach Goldberg, a junior Kedma member and government and politics major.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Kedma has been struggling to connect its members with one another, even with events outside, according to Galper. Kedma received approval from the university to host the tournament during Shabbat.
“The tournament was very fun for me and my teammate, Danny, since we were not expecting to get very far, and instead, went with the mindset of having a good time,” said Ghelman.
There was no prize for the winner of the tournament. However, many members felt that the outcome of uniting the Kedma community was rewarding enough.
“We had a nice balance of playing time and just catching up with the spectators on the sidelines. It was fun to see so many people from the community together again,” said Ghelman.
“Unfortunately, our team lost in the first round to a pitcher with a nasty curveball, but it was great to see everyone together with Kedma being such a large community,” said Goldberg. “We can get together without any distractions,” he added.
Kedma is one of the largest Orthodox college communities, having around 300-500 members within their organization, according to their website. The Jewish organization takes pride in the members within their community being diverse, with most members living on campus, which gives them the opportunity to experience to live in a Jewish environment while going to school.
Other social events that Kedma hosts throughout the year include dodgeball tournaments, basketball tournaments and charity marathons. More information on upcoming Kedma events can be found on the Kedma website calendar and Facebook page.