The Elul Experience at YU Has Been Inspiring and Uplifting
The month began on the Beren campus with a gift give-away for the student body: L’David Hashem Ori cards, designed by the vice president of public relations for the Torah Activities Council (TAC). Over 50 students participated in a “PAC with TAC” event organizing gifts of holiday supplies to be donated to a local cause and teams of students volunteered with Grand Central Food Programming and Dorot Food Packaging to help the needy. In addition, Rav Aryeh Cohen, who has 720 submissions on YU Torah Online, spoke to students about “Turning the Fears of Elul Into Serving Hashem with Joy.”
A highlight of Elul programming on the Beren campus was “Sweat 4 Tzedakah,” in which TAC rented out the Flywheel Sports and 305 fitness exercise studios and hosted two exercise classes with professional instructors for our students; 50% of the proceeds were donated to Sharsheret, a Jewish breast cancer organization that helps women and their families face breast cancer.
Just one week ago, in partnership with the Beit Midrash committee, there were four nights of selichot [communal prayers] with a minyan on the Beren campus, including two themed nights. In addition, Shema Koleinu hosted a speaker’s panel with Rebbetzin Aviva Feiner (the rebbetzin of Congregation Kneseth Israel and menaheles of Machon Basya Rachel Seminary, both in Far Rockaway), Rabbi Menachem Penner (the Max and Marion Grill Dean of the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary), and Rav Judah Mischel (executive director of Camp HASC, the Hebrew Academy for Special Children) last Monday night, and Tuesday night brought musical selichot with the music club.
Rounding out the month of events was saying goodbye to our fellow students on their last day before the holiday, wishing them a sweet new year with apples and honey in the lobby.
Happenings on the Wilf Campus included many selichot gatherings, and for the first time, a special Sephardic Selichot with Rabbi Dan Cohen (a teacher in the Stone Beit Medrash Program) and Rabbi Mordechai Benhaim (a teacher in the Mazer Yeshiva Program) was attended by over 200 students. In addition, three talented musicians gave a Sephardic concert near Weissberg Commons this past Wednesday: Leon Grandman, Rabbi Nissim Derey and Rabbi Moshe Tessone.