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fall 2011 / stav 5772

the jewish

volume V issue I


Illuminating December


the jewish


AIMEE MOSSERI Editor-in-Chief JASON BRECHER Treasurer, Assistant Editor NOAM ZEFFREN Holiday Editor RACHEL NEHEMIAH Design Editor

table of 2 4 5 6 8


Hanukah – Explore This Bright Jewish Holiday Noam Zeffren Latkes Recipe - With A Sweet Twist! Julia Levine Beating Hearts - A Poem Cynthia Blank The New Chabad House – All Are Welcome! Leora Silber CLIP-ing Forward (A Revolutionary Generation) Joy Elias


In association with Hillel at NYU Edgar M. Bronfman Center for Jewish Student Life 7 East 10th Street New York, NY 10003

If you’re interested in sharing your opinions or experiences with us send questions, comments, and feedback to:

letter from the


A burning candle touches the tip of another. There’s a flicker and then the oil in the wick combusts and the flame emerges sputtering, but bright. The flame then steadies and burns continuously. December is the season for the holiday of Hanukah and on Hanukah this is how light is spread from one wick to another. This is also how stories spread. They pass from one person to the next, inspiring people and spreading light to illuminate the world. The articles in this magazine are meant to illuminate our understanding of our world. Whether we are celebrating Hanukah annually or hearing of it for the first time we want to have a forum where we can express our interest in Jewish culture. I know that we will all experience December differently. Sharing those different experiences is what makes our world larger and brighter. I am so proud to be a part of a magazine

dedicated to publicizing and spreading the pieces of culture important to the authors and readers of this publication. The Jewish Voice at NYU is here so we students can reach out and feel connected to each other. I am proud to be the new Editor-in-Chief of a magazine dedicated to promoting the voices of my fellow student. Please peruse or read intently, but overall enjoy these pieces as they illuminate your December. I send a dear thank-you to all those who made this issue possible and look forward to the next publication. I hope we burn as bright as the newly lit candle and as continuously as the steadied candle. Happy Hanukah, Aimee Mosseri Editor-in-Chief



mmediately following this round of Fall finals, the holiday of Chanukkah arrives, beginning the eve of December 20th when three stars emerge, and continuing until Wednesday, December 28th at night. In these eight crazy nights, the Jewish people will be reliving that which occurred to our ancestors this time of year, at that time in history. In the year 3622 CE, the Maccabees rededicated the Temple in Jerusalem and purified it from the Syrian-Greek impurities which had been temporarily inside. The High Priest, Yochanan, set to relight the menorah within the confines of the Temple, but found only one pure jug of oil meant to last a single day. However, the generation was privileged to be the beneficiaries of such a miracle of the light lasting eight complete days. By this time, new oil could be made and transported to the Temple for use. The winning set of battles over

Greek (Yevani) ‫יוני‬ Light (Ohr) ‫אור‬ 2

Dark (Choshech) ‫חושך‬

LIGHT UP MY NIGHT Antiochus’ officers was an astounding defeat over a larger and seemingly more powerful army in number and brute strength. What the mighty Maccabees were missing in number was replaced by vigor and deeprooted cultural pride. While Hellenism was an attractive and enticing method by which to live their lives, the Maccabees chose to live by a higher level

Hanukiyah ‫הַנֻכִּיָח‬ This is the nine pronged candelabra that we light today in our houses. Many people refer to their hanukiyah as a menorah.

of existence, a pedestal that could only be prolonged by sustainable and deep-rooted cultural devotion. With a united and dedicated front, no enemy stood a chance. We can learn a few lessons from Channukah – every Jewish holiday has some edible novelty to it. Doughnuts and latkes! But more importantly, we see that the Channukah candles t h a t burn bright

Menorah ‫מְנֹורָה‬ This is the original biblical 7 pronged candelabra, lost in the last exile of Rome. The core is a base and a stem. From the stem three branches tipped with candleholders move outwards and curl upwards to align evenly with the top of the stem which is the seventh candleholder.

represent much more than a light source because the sun’s rays recede at a much earlier hour in the day. (In fact, we are not supposed to gain any benefit from the light emitting from the candles – the light’s beauty and meaning is enough!) The light represents a Jew’s acceptance to lead a divinely-inspired life, the responsibility that

no matter the degree of darkness, it is our responsibility to see the light in everything. Whether that light will last for one day or continue for a miraculous eight nights is our charge. By learning together from past prototypes like the Maccabees and seeking assistance from peers, we can brighten our daily experiences and infuse meaning into everything we do. To that end, NYU of-

Shemen Zayyit ‫שמן זית‬ Olive oil. We light our menorah only with olive oil. The miracle of Hanukah was how the only thimble of pure olive oil lasted the entire week it took to make more pure olive oil.

fers a variety of channukahrelated activities on campus, including the Yachad Chanukah event, communal lightings every night throughout campus, a special communal lighting in Washington Square Park, and special yummy treats. The communal lighting is a rare showcase of the wide variety of NYU Jews gathering to relive the miracle of channukah and be part of its lasting history. To truly be a lagoyim, a light unto the nations, unity is a quintessential quality that starts and begins with every individual. Channukah allows us to recognize those unique talents and channel them into something lasting a n d meaningful.

Maccabee ‫מכבים‬ The Maccabee army led the rebellion against the Greeks. Their founder was Judah the Maccabee. His family later aggregated monarchial power to their already establish priestly power as the Hasmonean Dynasty.



1 large sweet potato, peeled & grated

½ onion, grated 2 eggs

¼ teaspoon black pepper ½ teaspoon salt

Sweet Potato

Latkes F

ried food is traditionally eaten on Hanukkah in commemoration of the oil that miraculously burned for eight days when the Maccabees purified and rededicated the holy Temple in Jerusalem. While traditional latkes are made form regular potatoes, this creative twist makes a wonderful addition to the Hanukkah table!


1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees 2. Mix together the sweet potato, onion, eggs & pepper until well combined. 3. Heat the oil over medium heat until it shimmers, and spoon 1 heaping tablespoon of the potato mixture per latke into the hot oil. Flatten down with a fork. 4. Fry for 5-8 minutes until golden brown, flip and cook on other side. 5. Sprinkle with salt and set aside on lined baking sheet with paper towels. 6. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes 7. Serve hot with applesauce and yogurt. Enjoy!

Beating hearTs By Cynthia Blank

We sat at a picnic table in Williamsburg, under the Brooklyn Bridge watching Hasidic Jews chanting, and casting their sins away, into water.

The lights of Manhattan rained down on us, and them, and there was no difference between us.

For one night we shared ancestors of ancient scrolls, and prophecies still waiting to come true.

Fireworks exploded across the river, as if God were expressing his anger and magnanimity in one solitary act, enveloping us with the kind of love, you tell me is impossible to describe or quantify.

I got up and threw bread, flimsily, hoping it would drift far enough into the endless water to meet you on the other side of the world.

2 teaspoons olive oil


1 cup plain nonfat yogurt 1 cup applesauce

[Note] I wrote this after spending a night in Brooklyn the night before Yom Kippur. I went to the river to sit and saw what I guess you could call a spectacle of Hasidic Jews doing Tashlich. It was really beautiful to see what I consider a beautiful ritual of Judaism happening with so many people. It really made me feel a connection to past as well as future and that sort of brought this poem into being

Yom Kippur is the celebration of the Day of Atonement. This year we celebrated it from sundown on Friday October 7th till night of Saturday October 8th. The tradition of "tashlich" is when we throw (tashlich) our pieces of bread, which represent our sins, into the water to be consumed by fish. Many Jews in Brooklyn gather by the bay to perform this ritual cleansing, usually on the afternoon of the start of the New Year (Rosh Hashanah) ten days before Yom Kippur. Cynthia Blank is a Junior in CAS studying Dramatic Literature and Creative Writing. She has been writing poetry since she was 14 years old 5



efore arriving at NYU I constantly heard students speaking about Chabad. Even more than they spoke about what classes they took, what extra curricular actitivties they planned on joining, Chabad was constantly a main topic of conversation. I would always hear them say things like “Chabad is great because you see people who are not in your classes and have not seen them all week” or “It’s so crazy that no matter how many people show up to Chabad, there is never a shortage of food.” Upon arriving at NYU I finally got to experience Chabad for myself. The Chabad house, run by Rabbi Korn, provides a community within the NYU community that welcomes young Jews of all backgrounds and enhances their Jewish identity. At the young age of fifteen, Rabbi Korn was quite an inquisitive young man and began to question the purpose of life and search for the meaning of existence. It was during his college years at Yeshiva University where Rabbi Korn was drawn to Chabad and its mission to unite all Jews and foster their connection to Judaism. Rabbi Korn has embraced the Chabad way of life and has been reaching out to Jews in lower Manhattan for the last 14 years – initially in the community at large and more recently with a direct focus on NYU 6


religious background, and finally the birthright program with trips to Israel for first-time visitors to experience Jewish culture spirituality in the Holy Land led by Rabbi Korn. With the growth and success of Chabad at NYU Rabbi Korn is looking forwarding to expanding and moving from

The synagogue in the new building.

students. Rabbi Korn says, “About ten years ago when my wife and I started Chabad at NYU, the first year I came here it was crazy, just crazy, so many random Jews.” Chabad has grown by leaps and bounds over the years at NYU. “I still remember the first Friday night dinner we had three people at the chabad house, says Rabbi Korn. “Now the largest crowd we have had at Chabad is probably close to 280 people!” Rabbi Korn is, and continues to be the driving force behind the NYU/ chabad relationship. Today Chabad offers a variety of programs and activities to the student body at NYU with funding from students, parents, and alumni. Popular programs include both social

and educational events, including: Shabbat and holiday meals for hundreds of students with homemade (prepared each week by Rabbi Korn’s wife with help from NYU students) and traditional Jewish dishes, the Kosher Dining Club, a new club where students have the opportunity to try out different high-end kosher restaurants around Manhattan together with Rabbi Korn an active chesed (loving-kindness) volunteer program with organized weekly hospital and senior citizens visits, and The JHP - Jewish Heritage Program - which hosts parties, professional speakers, art clubs, community service, and book clubs all with a Jewish lens, the Sinai Scholars program providing an introduction to religion for those who do not have any

27 Washington Square Park North this year to a beautiful new building located on Bowery between 3rd and 4th. The new space will host a synagogue, conference room, dining hall, and a library. Rabbi Korn said, “We would like to have multiple Shabbat dinners at a time, for example, one meal for students, one for alumni. This new building will allow for that and for many programs to take place simultaneously. We definitely need this new space, we are so excited for it!” What does chabad means to the students at NYU? According to Rabbi Korn “Everyone has their own direction in life but Chabad creates Jewish life for everyone, we have no agenda of who to target we just want to help Jews connect in their own ways and feel that they are accepted here. Chabad is all about the love of learning, Torah, and

Israel.” I asked a fellow classmate of the freshman class at NYU what chabad means to her. Samantha responded, “ For me, Chabad is a place to turn to when you’re in need of spiritual guidance or just a taste of home.” Another student, a sophomore at The dining hall in the new building. NYU said “Chabad is working diligently on developa second home to me and ing more post graduating promy friends; if it weren’t gramming and ways for alumni for the incredible love to stay in touch. “Here [at that rabbi and Sarah Korn Chabad] we are about building constantly exude, I don’t relationships. It is not just when know where, at least, I you are here you are involved would stand today in all and then you leave and it’s all aspects of my overall life.” gone, we want to build Chabad has a strong relationships that and everlasting impact will last forever.” on many Jewish communities over the world. No matter one’s background or denomination he/she is always welcome at Chabad. Every holiday, Chabad brings Jewish communities together with its fun and memorable moments. The desire to connect with other Jewish students and people is what draws so many people to become consistently involved with Chabad. Rabbi Korn assures us that Chabad is not just a “college thing.” Once students graduate NYU they are encouraged to stay involved. Rabbi Korn is



Forward {a revolutionary generation} “Y

our generation just doesn’t care,” my management professor exclaimed to his class last semester. “Sixties kids were ‘revolutionary’—what are you?” I heard that sort of talk often growing up. I tried not to listen, but after years of hearing it, I just couldn’t help but concede to what appeared to be common belief. Maybe there is no hope for my generation. Maybe we don’t have the passion to change our environment like our parents did back then. Maybe we

liberal or traditional, Reconstructionist, Reform, Conservative or Orthodox, we all had strong characters and beliefs, but still such an eagerness to learn and to gain a newfound appreciation for where we came from and whom we aspire to become. Despite

our differences, our group simply meshed from the get go—we all knew that—and that further allowed me to observe how incredible, selfless, and thoughtful my generation is. Throughout the ten weeks, aside from growing

professionally and building our social networks at our internship locations, we developed personally through our weekly seminars. Touching on various topics, ranging from career development to Israel, each seminar proved enriching as we dynamically and respectfully exchanged ideas with one another. From one heated debate to another, I realized that we don’t always need a revolution in order to be successful. We all have the passion and potential to become great leaders if we just take the time to sit down, give and learn from one another. As I collected my thoughts during our final seminar together, I listened to my peers’ summer reflections. “I am signing up for

Birthright now,” one announced. “I want a career in marketing now,” another asserted. What did I feel? I felt that, through all of my hard work and efforts, I, in many ways, came out of the summer as an entirely new person— and I needed that. I gained a

sense of who I am through my professional experience, interactions with others, and my growing desire to do more and more good for the world in my own way.

I came in alone, as a qualified summer intern. I came out of the experience together with friends and an entirely new network. I came out of it with a fresh outlook on my wishes in life and my

future mission as a Jewish leader, whether lay or professional. Thanks to CLIP, I’m thrilled to say that the faith that I have in my generation is growing exponentially, regardless of how much my generation is criticized for “not caring.” I saw the zeal for giving and improving the world each and every day from my colleagues this summer—that’s what keeps me going forward.

My experience and encouragement from others during CLIP forever granted me the tools and confidence I need in order to become one of the many future influential Jewish leaders.

just don’t have as much of a desire to make the world a better place. Could it be?


I went into the Collegiate Leadership Internship Program (CLIP) this past summer with those doubts resonating in my head. I needed to somehow restore confidence in my generation and, fortunately, with the help of my remarkable fellow CLIPterns, CLIP coordinators, and colleagues at the Jewish Federations of North America, I did. I remember when all of us interns began. We were a motley crew thrown together with a single common link: a Jewish root— whatever that meant to each of us. Whether loud or reserved,


A publicating by the students of New York University in collaboration with Hillel

The Jewish Voice Magazine, NYU - December 2012  
The Jewish Voice Magazine, NYU - December 2012  

The December online issue of the NYU Jewish Voice Magazine