With all the Jewish activity at Stanford, things can get a little confusing...
Do I have to be religious to get involved?
Nope! While religious students are cherished in our community, we believe there's so much more to Jewish identity and community than just religious practice. In fact, many of our board members don't identify as religious.
Do I have to be Jewish to come to events?
Jewish students will frequently bring non-Jewish friends along for the fun and some times the brave and exceptional non-Jewish student will just come on their own to check out the scene. Whoever you are you're welcome at every event.
Wait. What's the difference between Hillel and JSA?
Even we'll admit this gets confusing. Hillel@Stanford is an organization with a large professional staff that aims to bring Jewish life to Stanford students and to support student leadership. JSA, on the other hand, is an independent student run organization. We recognize Hillel as a hub of Jewish life on campus and share many common goals with Hillel. Thus we often partner with them on events and frequently use the Hillel buildings for our programs.
How do I become a member of JSA?
"JSA" is really a leadership board of Jewish students that have stepped up to the plate to build our community. JSA doesn't have a formal membership model. If you're Jewish or interested in Judaism, we serve you. Applications for JSA board positions go out mid Winter and our board transitions at the beginning of Spring quarter.
How does JSA respond to BDS or other anti-Israel initiatives on campus?
The JSA board decides how to respond to such initiatives on a case by case basis. JSA is not an Israel advocacy group though we value Israel as a part of many Jews' sense of identity and work with Stanford Israel Association on cultural events. We also stand against the official BDS movement. At the same time, we recognize the political diversity of our community and strive to be as inclusive as possible. Additionally, we aim to address some of the deeper concerns of Jewish students by educating the campus about the history of our people and anti-Semitism and by helping Jewish students cultivate pride and confidence in their identities.
Where can I find Kosher food?
There's a Kosher dining program that serves lunch and dinner at FloMo (lunch from 11:30 am - 1:15 pm and dinner from 5:15-6:30 pm) from Mondays to Thursdays. You can sign up for the kosher meal plan at https://rdeapps.stanford.edu/MyMealPlan. Kosher food is served at Hillel on Friday lunches and for Shabbat dinners. If you are in a row house, KD is of no additional cost to you. Signing up for kosher dining is a great way to eat a delicious kosher meat or vegetarian dinner, hang out with the Jewish community, and support Jewish life on campus. Many students that don't keep kosher sign up anyway!