Jewish students in age of corona find virtual home with Hillel

Students now have the opportunity not only to meet those from other campuses, but they are also sharing experiences, ideas on how to fight anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism.

By Joseph Wolkin, World Israel News

As universities in America close their doors and send students home due to the rising concern over the spread of the coronavirus, Jewish students are left without a community.

While individual Hillel student clubs and Hillel International — the largest Jewish campus organization in the world — are coming together to provide web-based programming, there is still a gap. The community is missing, and students have to look for new ways to stay inspired.

Hillel student clubs are the focal point of Jewish life on campus. It’s a place to meet those who have the same experiences as a Jewish college student, and it’s a place to be part of a community great than oneself.

That’s why, amid the COVID-19 pandemic, a group of students found a way to bring Jewish students from America together.

They started a Facebook group called Zoom University Hillel, which has grown to include more than 11,500 members and counting within just 10 days. Since the group was created, students now have the opportunity not only to meet those from other campuses, but they are also sharing experiences and ideas on how to fight anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism.

Read  WATCH: Israel's tourism industry sees post-Covid boost

Prior to the start of Shabbat last week, dozens of college students shared videos of themselves lighting the Sabbath candles while self-quarantining. One student went as far as playing on the clarinet the traditional song Yedid Nefesh, often the first prayer sung in the synagogue to welcome in the Sabbath.

Most of all, the Zoom University Hillel group is bringing young Jewish people together in a time of loneliness and uncertainty. It is a place to find people who share things in common.