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Happy New Year to Jew(s)!

college culture


George Washington University


Happy New Year to Jew(s)!

Rosh Hashana potlucks are back and bigger than ever.

Tali Edid


Rosh Hashanah, the celebration of the Jewish new year, is often a time for eating freshly-baked round challah, dipping crisp apples into sweet honey, and sharing your new year resolutions with family and friends. While away from home, though, it is often difficult to find the chutzpah- Yiddish for audacity- needed to miss class to pray in an impromptu synagogue in Marvin.

"My goal for the holiday was for everyone, especially the freshmen who are still looking for their GW family, to have a place like home to celebrate," shared Justyn Needel, the host of a 30-person potluck in her Amsterdam dorm.

On Wednesday night, she encouraged fellow students of all ages to cook in their dorms and bring enough to share! She explained she, "Was very homesick last year and wanted to make sure she spent the holiday this year in the comfort of her own home."

In the spirit of the holiday, Needel was also able to give back to her local community by purchasing dozens of potato knishes from Brooklyn Sandwich Co., the kosher food truck started by a GW student that can often be found parked on campus.

The greatest part about potlucks are that they are both easy and convenient. Often, people who would normally nap through religious services or choose to shop at Georgetown rather than get dinner at the Hillel townhouse actually decide to attend their friend's potluck-- who might happen to be their neighbor. Boom: free food with some Jewish vibes on the side. Doesn't sound too shabby, huh?

It is important to mention, though, that many students enjoy the impromptu services in Marvin, the guitar-accompanied singing of prayers, and the sense of home brought by sharing a traditional meal alongside Rabbis and religious campus leaders.

Ultimately, GW has a remarkably diverse range of options for Jewish holidays on campus. Wherever students decided to celebrate, it is safe to assume they are still on a sugar high from the honey-covered apples and challah and too many cups of Manischewitz wine.