23 October 2008
Dear Wooster Jewish Students and Prospective Students,
This is an exciting time to be a Jewish student at The College of Wooster. For the last five years, we have had Rabbi Joan Friedman as a member of our community and an advisor to our campus Hillel. I think that it�s safe to say that there are few liberal arts colleges that are so lucky to have this kind of resource. Rabbi Joan grew up in a conservative family and received her Rabbinic training from the Reform Hebrew Union College Institute of Religion and graduated among the earliest cohorts of this country�s women Rabbis. She also holds a PhD in Jewish History from Columbia University. In addition to advising Hillel, she is a member of the Departments of History and Religious Studies and the Office of Interfaith Campus Ministries and teaches classes in the history of Judaism, the Holocaust, the Arab-Israeli Conflict and Biblical Hebrew, among other subjects.
As an advisor to Hillel, Rabbi Joan has focused her energies on creating a lively and active Jewish community, in educating non-Jewish members of the community about Judaism and in training Jewish students to become campus leaders. As a result we have a very active program that includes a Hillel Board that meets weekly, weekly meetings for all members of the community that are cultural, religious and social in content, monthly Shabbat dinners, regular Israeli folk dancing sessions and several big campus events every semester (including films, concerts and speakers). Students are invited to attend services on Shabbat and major Holidays at Temple Knesseth Israel, which is a ten-minute walk from campus.
We don�t have exact numbers for Jewish students on campus, as it is difficult if not illegal to ask the question directly of applicants and students. But my estimate is that of a campus population of 1800 students, there are between 150 and 200 Jewish students and that the number is growing. There is, however, no typical Wooster student. They come from communities all over the East Coast and Midwest. In recent years there have been significant numbers from the DC Area, Boston, Burlington, VT, Chicago, Cleveland, Columbus, Pittsburgh, Rochester, and from small towns all over the Midwest. We have had a few from as far West as Los Angeles, Portland, Oregon and Seattle. Jewish students at Wooster have included valedictorians, Summa Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa graduates, football players and athletes on other teams as well as a President of the Student government and other campus leaders. They are well integrated into the community and feel extremely comfortable here. I would encourage all students, prospective students and their parents who are interested in learning more about Jewish life at The College of Wooster to contact me or to contact Rabbi Joan directly.
We will look forward to hearing from you!
Peter C. Pozefsky
You may contact Rabbi Joan Friedman at email@example.com or 330-263-2448
Peter Pozefsky firstname.lastname@example.org