Known for always hosting the game “Jewpardy” at the annual Unity Fair, bringing Jewish culture to Hills West, and having a lot of food at meetings, Jewish Heritage Club carries the roots of Jewish history and religion to inform and celebrate with students.
Over the past few years, Hills West’s Jewish Heritage Club (JHC) has changed dramatically. The club has grown from having little attendance to drawing in new members to create a solid group. Starting from last year, JHC has incorporated Rabbi Dovid Weinbaum from the Chai Center and head of the Jewish organization CTEEN to come and talk about the Jewish holidays and cultural aspects. JHC has started off strong in the 2016-17 school year with a shofar workshop for Rosh Hashanah, throwing away sins using bread at the pond for Yom Kippur, and having a sukkah outside in the parking lot for Sukkot. Board members have spread the word about these events, which will hopefully bring more students who are interested in Jewish culture to join.
“The club has come such a long way in such a short amount of time,” said Junior Adam Aviram, Co-President of JHC. “We started with few kids and few programs; now we have a large group and have had many discussions. We’ve made things ranging from candy Torahs to actual shofars, and played lots of Jewpardy!”
The board’s constant flow of new ideas has made the club flourish and spread the word about JHC.
“I think the past few events have been wonderful and exciting,” Junior Andrew Martin said. “Due to school work and the business of everyday life, it can become difficult to go to temple and celebrate all the holidays, but because of Jewish Heritage Club, I can connect with Judaism from the comfort of my own school and peers.”
For every holiday, JHC holds an event that helps students learn more about the background and stories surrounding the significant day. Additionally, food and refreshments are present at every meeting, which refreshes students after a long day at school.
Vice President of JHC, sophomore Eric Stern communicates, “I find that the most common misconception of our club is that it’s only for those students that are Jewish. In fact, JHC is for anyone. If you’re looking to learn about culture, politics, or just eat pizza and have a good time, we are more than happy to have you!”
Anyone can join the club; besides celebrating holidays, there are also teachings about Jewish culture, which informs students who are interested in learning about it. Also, now that the club is becoming more known in school, the board members are starting to make a charity plan. Adam Aviram says, “We will soon start a charity and community service project!”
No matter what religion one practices, everyone is welcome to attend a JHC meeting to learn about Jewish history and culture, and to join disussions with other peers. Meetings are held every other Wednesday in room 176 after school. Secretary Blake Sortino exclaims, “We shine like a star…of David!”