Hillel brings Passover to Fling festivities
SPEC, Hillel have made accommodations so students aren't forced to choose between Passover, Fling
April 9, 2012, 11:44 pm · Updated April 12, 2012, 12:44 am·
This year, Penn Hillel is bringing Passover to Fling.
For the first time in the past few years, the last few days of Passover coincide with Spring Fling, which may present a conflict for some Jewish students who have to observe restrictions on their diet, electricity and consumption of grain-based alcohol.
Hillel has purposely planned its second-annual Hillel Week this week to keep Passover on the minds of Jewish students who may be thinking about Fling.
Though the situation may be frustrating for some, the combination of the three events could ultimately make each event a “much more meaningful experience,” said College junior Alex Jefferson, president of Penn Hillel.
Hillel Week, which began last Friday and will last until April 13, is divided into three parts: “Pass It,” “Plan It” and “Fling It.”
“Pass It,” which occurred this past weekend, included Seder meals and services on Friday and Saturday evening.
“Plan It,” which started yesterday and will continue into Wednesday, will include nearly 40 small initiatives that students could sign up to host through their fraternities, student groups and college houses.
Such initiatives include a powder-puff soccer game at Rodin Field, a barbecue dinner outside Hillel and other smaller group activities. Hillel offered funding to any student who proposed an event that puts together “new people meeting each other and meaningful Passover substance,” Jefferson said.
He added that the purpose of the smaller initiatives — a change from last year’s fewer but much larger events — is to have a “catalyst” that helps remind Jewish students to remember Passover.
“Fling It,” the third part of Hillel Week, will begin on Thursday. The Social Planning and Events Committee has been working with Hillel since the beginning of the school year to “facilitate Passover activities so that [Jewish students] are still having fun at Fling,” said College sophomore Casey Peeks, one of the directors of Spring Fling.
Nursing and Wharton junior Kelly Chen, another director, said accommodations have been made so no one is forced to choose between Passover and Fling.
Most of the discussions between Hillel and SPEC have centered on accommodating the dietary restrictions of Jewish students observing the holiday, Chen added.
During Fling, Hillel will offer free boxed kosher meals in Houston Hall, where SPEC has allowed them to distribute food. Hillel will also provide a kosher food vendor in the Quad, serving packaged chips and other snacks.
Though food for Passover will still be offered at Hillel, Jefferson believes that they can help more students keep the holiday by having food available near the Quad.
On Saturday night, Hillel will host a booth during the Spring Fling Carnival where they will serve pancakes to herald in the breaking of Passover. Hillel usually offers a breaking of Passover event in the Hillel building, but this year is bringing it to the Fling festivities.
Chen said SPEC has partnered with Hillel to advertise this week’s events — an offer that was “very important” to Hillel, she added.
“We fulfilled most of their requests,” she said.