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We all must breathe: a poem in four parts in response to racism in our country In watching events unfold over the past two weeks the image which constantly came to my mind was that of being able to breathe the air freely. In Central Park, a white woman tried to prevent Christian Cooper from breathing the air and occupying the space, even though both belonged to him as much as they did to her.
Hillel International listed Lehigh University as one of the top 60 private colleges and universities in terms of Jewish population, as well as one of the top 60 schools chosen by Jewish graduating High School seniors in 2018.
Dear Lehigh Jewish students and all members of our extended community, I know this has been a difficult time for all of us. Shock, anger, sadness, and frustration are only some of the emotions we've all felt during this past week. One week ago we all said good-bye for Spring Break. Little did we know that this would be good-bye until August. For students in the Class of 2020 that may have been an even more final farewell. This is unfair! Plain and simple. And yet it is the reality that we are facing. In these difficult times it is important to express your feelings and thoughts to your family members and friends. Please also know that all of us in the Office of Jewish Student Life are here for you as well. We care about you. We support you. Most of all, we miss you! It still hasn't totally sunk in for us, and I imagine for many of you. It still feels like we're on Spring Break and, come Monday, students will start to trickle in. Next Shabbat was going to be "Breakfast for Dinner Shabbat" prepared by students and Rabbi Steve. Until a few days ago we were putting together the menu and the shopping list. So, the challah French toast, shakshouka and more will have to wait. The same is true for the rest of our activities and our communal Passover celebration. But we know we'll be back together in the fall to celebrate as a community. Please know that you are in our thoughts every day. After all, we work here because we love working with students. It's not the same without you! For those of you who may still be on campus or in local off-campus housing, our building will be closed effective immediately and until further notice. However, we are here for each and every member of the Lehigh University community. Please be in touch with any of us if you need anything. Please watch Instagram and Facebook for future messages, pics, and videos. In addition, we are excited to announce that we will soon be launching a new blog called "Lehigh Hillel: Healing & Health." This will be a digital forum for students to support and communicate with each other and with our staff. It will also be a way to create an online Jewish community to keep us connected no matter where we are. We will announce more details on Facebook, Instagram and in our e-mail newsletter, so if you're not following us already we're @lehighhillel on social media platforms. If you're receiving this letter, then you receive our newsletter. In closing, please stay healthy and stay safe. We hope the remainder of your semester goes well and that you have a spectacular summer! We look forward to seeing you in the fall. And for those who are graduating, please stay in touch with us and let us know what you're up to! Shabbat Shalom! Rabbi Steve Nathan Chloe Goldstein Jane Hontz Director of Jewish Student Life Engagement and Office Coordinator and Associate Chaplain Program Associate jah714@lehigh.edu spn217@lehigh.edu cmg319@lehigh.edu (610) 758-4896 (610) 758-4875 (610) 759-4893 cell: (215) 514-3463 (PLEASE feel free to call or text if you need to talk!) P.S. To our parents, alumni, friends and supporters. Thanks for your support in everything you do. We couldn't do it without you! We're here for you as well if you need to talk!

What are some of the components of Jewish life at Lehigh?
How many Jewish students are at Lehigh?
Is there a building for Jewish life at Lehigh? Where is it located?
Is there a kosher food option available? Is the Jewish Student Center kosher?
Does the Jewish Student Center host Shabbat services and dinner?
What options are available for major Jewish holidays?
What are some of the programs that the Hillel Society offers?
Is there a Jewish studies program on campus?
How many members does Lehigh Hillel have?
What are some of the programs that the Hillel Society offers?
Who are the professional Jewish staff members on campus?

What are some of the components of Jewish life at Lehigh?

There are several student-run Jewish groups at Lehigh: Lehigh Hillel, Chabad at Lehigh, Challah for Hunger, Tamid, and AEPi fraternity. In addition, a wide variety of academic classes and Jewish programs are coordinated through the Berman Center for Jewish Students. 

How many Jewish students are at Lehigh?

There are between 700-800 Jewish undergraduate students at Lehigh. They make up between 15-18 percent of the undergraduate student body.

Where is the Jewish Student Center located?

The Jewish Student Center is located at 216 Summit Street. The building is directly across Brodhead Street from the Alumni Memorial Building, which houses the Lehigh Admissions Office. During the summer session, the building is open from 9:30 am to 2:00 pm, but visitors are encouraged to make an appointment so we can set you up with a student guide. 

Is there a kosher food option available? Is the Jewish Student Center kosher?

While Lehigh does not have a formal kosher meal plan, there are numerous vegetarian and fish options in the various eating locations on campus for people who eat dairy/vegetarian outside of home. While it is not directly linked to Lehigh’s meal plan, the Jewish Student Center kitchen is kosher and available to students for making their own kosher meals, with prepared dinners every Friday night. Just contact Rabbi Steve Nathan at spn217@lehigh.edu if you would like to make arrangements for cooking kosher meals.

Does the Jewish Student Center host Shabbat services and dinner?

The Jewish Student Center hosts Shabbat services and dinner on a weekly basis every Friday night.  Services and dinner can draw up to 50 students.  For students seeking options for services Saturday morning, arrangements can be made to attend local synagogues.

What options are available for major Jewish holidays?

During the High Holidays, Lehigh Hillel sponsors a pre-Rosh Hashanah dinner and a post-Yom Kippur break fast, as well as religious services for two days of Rosh Hashanah and for Yom Kippur.  In addition to hosting social events for Purim and Chanukah, Hillel also sponsors seders for the first two nights of Passover and ensures that students have kosher for Passover food for the length of the holiday.  For other holidays, we are happy to connect students with the local Jewish community to enable them to attend services in the Lehigh Valley.

What are some of the programs that the Hillel Society offers?

The Hillel Society provides students with a number of Jewish social, religious and cultural activities, as well as opportunities for learning. Social programs particularly with other Lehigh Valley colleges are very important for a Jewish student's Lehigh experience.  Holiday festivities and celebrations occur regularly at the Jewish Student Center.  Hillel Society members are encouraged to suggest and plan programs that fit their specific interests. For more information go to hillel.lehigh.edu.

Is there a Jewish studies program on campus?

Lehigh offers students a wide variety of Jewish studies courses through the Berman Center for Jewish Studies. A Jewish studies minor is offered for interested students. To learn more about the Berman Center and its programs check out their website at www.lehigh.edu/~inber/inber.html.

How many members does Lehigh Hillel have?

We do not have a membership program and everyone at Lehigh is welcome to participate in any of the programs we offer. 

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Who are the professional Jewish staff members on campus?

Rabbi Steve Nathan serves as Director of Jewish Student Life and Associate University Chaplain. He can be reached at spn217@lehigh.edu or (610) 758-4875.

Chloe Goldstein is the Engagement and Programming Associate for the Office of Jewish Student Life and Lehigh Hillel.  She can be reached at cmg319@lehigh.edu or (610) 758-4893.

Jane Hontz is the full-time Office Coordinator for the Office of Jewish Student Life. She can be reached at jah714@lehigh.edu or (610) 758-4896.

The office is open on weekdays from 9-5, but is usually closed for lunch from 12-1. The office is closed for the entire month of July as well as on Jewish and University holidays.