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 the 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?
In addition to Friday night dinner at Hillel, there's a Kosher dining program that serves dinner at FloMo from 5:15-6:30 every Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. You can sign up for one, two or all three of the nights. If you sign up for kosher dining you still have access to all of Flomo dining hall. 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! For more info or to sign up, please email Michaela Elias (firstname.lastname@example.org).