Kedma, the Orthodox group on campus, has many new goals for next year.

By Samantha Ebner

Staff Writer


Education Chair: Talya Lebson 

(Photo courtesy of Kedma)

Education chair Talya Lebson, a freshman physics and psychology major, ran for the board to contribute to the community.  

“I wanted to make a difference in the community, and I like it because I get to meet so many people,” Lebson said. 

Her role entails coordinating educational opportunities. Every Tuesday evening, Kedma offers Tuesday Night Torah, known as TNT, in which members of the community teach Jewish ideas and concepts to their peers. To increase involvement, Lebson said she “started a TNT archive for people to access recordings of past TNT’s and source sheets.” 

Additionally, at the beginning of every month, on Rosh Chodesh, there is a learning event for women. Kedma’s OU JLIC representative Rikki Lehman bakes desserts and imparts lessons. Lebson used to work with Lehman to find time for Women’s Beit Midrash, however, Lebson now finds someone else to lead and bring food since Lehman is on maternity leave. 

Kedma occasionally hosts an outside Jewish scholar for Shabbat, at least once each month, in which an expert leads lectures for and eats with the community. Lebson reaches out to different experts to ask them to come, and when someone wants to join, she plans their schedule, works with Hillel for meals and publicizes the events. 

Lebson welcomes her responsibilities with ease as she “love[s] how kind everyone in the community is … [and] all the great opportunities.”

Chesed Chair: Elijah Kesler

(Photo courtesy of Kedma)

Chesed, or charity, chair Elijah Kesler, a freshman general biology major, ran for the board to be a part of leading the community.  

“I felt that this was a good opportunity for me to make a difference and be a role model for others in the capacity that I’m comfortable with,” Kesler said. 

His role entails planning and executing events focused on charity, such as food and clothing drives and activities with Yachad, a Jewish organization for people with disabilities. 

Kesler aims to have one food and clothing drive each semester. He realized that around breaks from school, students have stuff they want to give away, so he coordinates with the salvation army or local drives. 

Also, Kesler has held one event with Yachad this semester so far. He recently worked with them to plan an Afikomen bag-designing activity for the Pesach holiday. Next semester, he hopes to have activities with Yachad for the high holidays. 

Kesler values the significance of his job, aware that “fundraisers are for the greater good of the community, for people that don’t have certain things we consider necessities.”

Fundraising Chair: Nathan Wieder

(Photo courtesy of Nathan Wieder)

Fundraising chair Nathan Weider, a freshman finance major, ran for the board to make an impact in Kedma, which he is grateful to be a part of. 

“I’m accomplishing what I wanted to do by giving back to a community that has given me so much,” Wieder said. 

Fundraising is a difficult task since college students don’t have much to donate and Kedma does not want to take away from sponsors from Hillel. Although Wieder has a challenging role, he has created ways for Kedma to make money. 

One initiative that he was able to bring in revenue for was his Chinese dinner idea, in which he worked out a discount with a Chinese restaurant and then had students pay to cover the full meal price plus delivery. 

“My job was to work with the restaurant, make sure people were ordering, work on deliveries, market it,” Wieder said. 

Although Wieder’s role involves a lot of planning and creating expense and budget sheets, his admiration for the community drives his motivation to continuously work hard. 

“What I think I love about the Kedma community is that it’s almost its own thing. It almost feels like I go to the University of Kedma,” Wieder said. “Any time I want to do anything, I’m doing it with Kedma people.” 

Collaboration Chair: Kaylee Zaveduk

(Photo courtesy of Kedma)

Collaboration chair Kaylee Zaveduk, a freshman kinesiology major, ran for the board to enhance unity among Jews on campus. 

“I ran for board because I’m really passionate about bringing together different types of Jews, and I think that there is a need for that,” Zaveduk said. 

She is responsible for reaching out to and planning events with other Jewish organizations on campus. Zaveduk’s role and goal is to unite different types of affiliated Jews to create unity on campus. At Maryland, there are multiple Jewish groups, including Kedma (Orthodox), Neshama (Conservative), and Ruach (Reform). 

“One of the events that I did was a ‘Make Your Own Food’ event for Tu B’Shvat at Chabad,” Zaveduk said. “Also working with Kinor, which is Kedma, Neshama, and Ruach, and planning events with the three of us.” 

Zaveduk believes that the high-energy community that Kedma fosters can be an inviting place that she is working to open for others to take part in. She works to bring Jews together to share similarities and celebrate differences. As a member of Kedma, Zaveduk is grateful to be in the community. 

“I like the Kedma community because it’s really supportive and just a vibrant community,” Zaveduk said. “Everyone is super nice.”

The Kedma board has planned a painting activity for the community this Saturday night to conclude the semester.  


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