Texas Hillel-Black Student Alliance Share Shabbat

Texas Hillel and the Black Student Alliance hosted Shabbat services and dinner at Texas Hillel on Friday, February 24. Throughout the evening, students from both groups enjoyed services, a community kosher meal with food from both cultures, socializing and discussions. While this is the first Shabbat Texas Hillel and the Black Student Alliance have celebrated together, the two groups have held events together in the past. As Jason Epstein, Racial Justice Committee leader, states, “The Black-Jewish Student Alliance was formed to connect the two communities socially and provide support for one another. We kicked off our relations by studying the shared history between the Black and Jewish communities in 20th Century America, specifically during the Civil Rights Movement and during the Holocaust. Since, we’ve redirected our focus to building personal relationships across communities. At Shabbat, we drew a crowd of over 150 attendees, including our largest representation at a joint program from both the Black and Jewish communities to date.”

This joint Shabbat is part of Texas Hillel’s ongoing efforts to bring different groups together, build relationships on campus and educate other organizations about Texas Hillel, the Jewish Community, and Israel. Past events with other campus groups include Hanukkah Diwali with the Indian Culture Association and the Hindu Students Association and the recent Tacos & Churros Meet N’ Greet with the Latino-Jewish Student Coalition. These outreach efforts are paying off as evidenced by the success of last Friday’s Shabbat. As Jason says, “Both Calep Smith (my contact at the Black Student Alliance) and I were elated with the turnout.”