JSA ordered kosher food, wine and other alcohol to give participants a taste of Jewish culture in a fun and social setting. Both Jewish and non-Jewish students took part in the dinner. The group was also proud to announce that it was their biggest event thus far, with 70 attendees! What was interesting was that many of the people who came to the dinner happened to be supportive of the JSA, support Israel, or were at least against disproportionate criticism and condemnation of the Jewish state.
The best part of the event was that it informally educated students about Judaism and Israel, simply by holding the shabbat dinner.
Throughout the night, members made a point of engaging attendees in discussions about the difficulties that Jewish students face on campus, including BDS, SJP, and other anti-Israel rhetoric. Students were understanding and wanted to listen and share their perspectives on these issues.
One interesting conversation in particular that took place was with a Middle Eastern Christian. She noted that most students are not aware of the oppression non-Muslim minorities face in the Middle East, and this was based on person experience at Windsor. Other students engaged in a variety of discussions ranging from the BDS threat to how delicious Israeli wine is!
The point of the event was not only to educate in a casual and exciting way, but to also create a comfortable environment for dialogue. There were both new and old faces, and it was clear that the participants genuinely enjoyed their time. Ultimately, this event succeeded in getting newcomers and those who are already members of JSA to think critically about Israel, Judaism, and the group’s positive role on campus.
University of Windsor’s Jewish Student Association thanks CAMERA for all its help, support, and for making the Annual Shabbat Dinner a reality!
To apply for our 2016-2017 CAMERA Fellowship, click here!