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WKU history department hosts ‘Hanukkah Before You Head Home’

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Molly Dobberstein

The WKU history department hosted “Hanukkah Before You Head Home,” a free and open event for those on campus to enjoy the holiday, on Friday, Dec. 1.

History and Jewish studies professor and Jewish Student Organization faculty advisor Timothy Quevillon described this event as not only a way for Jewish students, faculty and staff to connect, but also as an opportunity to open the doors, battle misinformation and antisemitism and be made available to the wider WKU community. 

“It’s always a good wrap-up of the semester,” Quevillon said. 

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While Hanukkah begins next week, the event was decided to be hosted prior to finals.

Hanukkah is one of the most recognizable Jewish holidays as it commemorates the Jewish experience during the revolt against the Roman empire in the first century, Quevillon explained. 

Quevillon said that in the Jewish community, it celebrates a “miraculous victory against a Roman empire trying to destroy them.”

 The menorah is a central element of Hanukkah, which Quevillon explained symbolizes the eight day celebration in which the oil that was only expected to survive one day provided light for seven more.

 For American Jewish people, Hanukkah has become far more celebrated due to its proximity to Christmas. Quevillon said, “It’s taken on new importance.”

Quevillon described fried food as another central element to the holiday, including latkes, sufganiyot and hamantaschen. Attendees enjoyed these foods along with chocolate gelt and dreidel.

 While freshman Lily Supinski does not regularly celebrate Hanukkah, she chose to attend to branch out and see more events, culture and history.

 Latin American history professor Marc Eagle said it’s meaningful to have a place to come together and praised Quevillon for his efforts in organizing the event. He said he finds it very important for WKU to support diverse organizations and is excited to support such.

Jennifer Hanley, history professor, noted the growth and visibility of this community on campus, which has not always had several social or celebratory events. She said this event provided an opportunity to bring in more people and come together in fellowship.  

 “WKU’s holiday season is no longer just Christmas,” Hanley said.

News Reporter Lindsey Coates can be reached at [email protected]

 

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