Welcome New Students!

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Welcome – or welcome back – to the University of Chicago! We are gearing up to welcome incoming first-years to campus during the Family Resources Fair on Sunday, September 22, and throughout O-Week. Come check out our table at the fair or say hello to one of our interns walking around campus wearing a jU T-shirt!

We hope you will look around this web site to get a flavor of what jU is all about by looking at what we did last year.

jU is about empowering students to create innovative, exciting, interesting, and fun Jewish experiences for themselves and for other students. We don’t have a building, but we do have a network of students across campus who create experiences all over the place—in their apartments, on the Quads, in campus spaces, and on-line.

Nearly every Friday, students host Shabbat dinners in their apartments with sponsorship and guidance from jU. We help students launch and maintain small communities, and we throw blowout holiday experiences designed to capture the spirit of communal tradition and celebration. We don’t expect that everyone reads Hebrew, but we’ll teach you how to read it if you want to study Talmud in the original as part of our traditionally radical Bet Midrash.

We don’t see students as consumers of our programs, but rather as empowered co-creators.

Our student interns are a diverse group with varying levels of Jewish experience and background. Like most UChicago students, they love to read, discuss ideas, and cook and eat delicious food together. They are responsible for creating and implementing the bulk of our program, and through their work hundreds of their peers engage in Jewish life and activities.

Our staff team is multidisciplinary, with collective experience in the fields of community organizing, Jewish studies, linguistics, improvisation, design thinking, law, Talmud study, and yoga. We speak Hebrew, but we also speak Spanish. Some of us are queer. Some of us have non-¬Jewish family members. In short, we look a lot like the students we serve.

If this sounds like it’s up your alley, here’s how you can get involved: 
• meet with one of our student interns for coffee
• apply to be part of one of our internship tracks—applications coming out soon! 
• join one of our communities (yoga, movies, reading group, cooking group, 
vegan/vegetarian discussion group, Friday night tisches) 
• create your own community around an activity, theme, idea or interest
• come to one of our holiday experiences
• become a Campus Shabbat host
• hang out at jU House, the off-campus hub for Jewish life
• check out our blog, Facebook, and Twitter accounts
• sign up for our email list host
• talk to us about any other ideas for Jewish life on campus that you may have—we can help turn them into realities