Karger is the new president of Kedma, this university’s Orthodox Jewish group.
By Samantha Ebner, Staff Writer
Sharon, Massachusetts native Deena Karger is aiming to enhance Kedma, the Jewish Orthodox group on campus, during her role as president.
Karger is a junior majoring in kinesiology. She felt that being on the board would enable her to give back to the Jewish community, and is working to increase engagement in Kedma by planning events, specifically social and charity opportunities.
“I want to create more Shabbat experiences that really encourage the community to be in Hillel, whether that’s a Friday night dinner with everyone or Shabbat afternoon singing,” Karger said. “Another totally different thing is the chesed opportunities on campus and the ability to volunteer, such as the campus food pantry or people around that we can help by delivering snacks to.”
Chesed chair Elijah Kesler has been communicating with clubs on campus that focus on volunteering. They are currently planning programs with Yachad, a Jewish organization for people with disabilities. Karger’s hope is for Kedma members to be invited to work with them and provide resources.
“We’re going to create a couple of events over the semester as well as running different fundraisers to give a lot of money to various charities. We’re also trying to make a more inclusive community and help [freshmen] with how they’re included in the community,” said Kessler, a freshman in letters and sciences
Karger’s success in breaking barriers and planning activities is due to her trailblazer attitude.
“I want to come up with new ideas that would work well. As Jews, we have lots of tradition and like to stick to tradition, but it’s also important to see what works and what doesn’t work, and move forward and improve the things that we’re doing,” said Karger.
Elections in Kedma are decided on by the president: they choose who they want on their staff, and then the community votes whether they agree. The seven chair positions and treasurer position are either a one semester or one year commitment, but vice president is an avenue to president. The vice president becomes president the following semester for the remainder of the year.
Karger was not always set on becoming president of Kedma. She was active in the community through hosting Shabbat meals and her involvement in Kedma weekly activities.
When senior Tamar Jacobson was elected, she thought Karger was experienced and fit to be her sidekick and eventual replacement. Although hesitant at first, Karger agreed to assume the role and is now thankful for the opportunity Jacobson bestowed onto her.
“Deena’s enthusiasm for the things that she cares about is infectious and her passion for Kedma was no exception. She has the perfect balance of big picture thinking about how to make Kedma become stronger and become more inclusive while simultaneously channeling her creative ideas into new fun events,” said Jacobson, a senior and public health major.
Karger’s appreciation for the positive experience Kedma has had on her college career continues to propel her in efforts to improve the community.
“The community doesn’t run itself, so as president I want to initiate and start new events and new programs for the community, so that it stays as strong as it is or even gets stronger,” Karger said.