Student organization celebrates Jewish culture

Kristina Burton

Out of the multitude of religious groups on campus, it can be difficult to keep track of them all.

The WKU Jewish Student Union, which was started last year, is an example of a newer religious group that a lot of students might not know about.

Louisville senior Molly Kaviar has been with the group since its formation.

“A couple of my friends and I felt like there were a lot of other religious groups represented on campus, and the Jewish population was not at all,” Kaviar said.

Kaviar went on to say that her and her friends started up the Jewish Student Union to have a place where they could get together and celebrate Jewish holidays together with their peers.

Franklin, Tenn., junior Eryn Karmiller, wants to try to get WKU’s campus more aware of what Judaism.

“We know the Jewish community is quite small in Kentucky, and we know people are interested, but they just don’t know much about it,” Karmiller said. “We try to explain everything to people and have events for holidays so people who are Jewish can come celebrate those holidays and also get people who aren’t Jewish interested in that stuff.”

Examples of events the Jewish Student Union have had are a Hanukkah party and a Shabbat dinner, which is a special celebration around the Jewish Sabbath. The group is also hoping to do something to celebrate the upcoming Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur and Sukkot.

Nashville senior Cori Haber is grateful to have a group like the Jewish Student Union.

“I’m Jewish and wanted to meet other Jewish students on campus,” Haber said. “I also wanted people to observe and celebrate the holidays with since there is not a synagogue in Bowling Green.” Haber also encourages WKU students who may not know much about Judaism to come out to the events.

“Come just to learn as a less religious, more educational experience and just meet everyone,” Haber said.

Karmiller wants to assure all WKU students that they are welcome at the Jewish Student Union.

“We’re not going to try to convert you,” Karmiller said. “We welcome anyone of any shape or religion to come and learn so you’re not making judgments about things just because you’re not familiar. When you don’t know about something, it can be scary, but it’s good to learn about different people even if you don’t agree on beliefs and stuff.”

Kaviar thinks it’s beneficial to know there are all kinds of different religious groups on campus.

“The Christian groups are really loud, but we’re here, too,” Kaviar said. “The Jewish Student Union is open for anyone to come and see what it’s all about.”