I feel lucky to be celebrating the Jewish New Year surrounded by new friends and a welcoming, diverse campus community. But being in a new place is not the only thing unique about this Rosh Hashanah; the little moments of happiness and kindness that I have experienced over the past few days have made the holiday special to me. It was when my RA left apples and honey on the table in our floor’s kitchen for anyone/everyone to enjoy. It was when I got to pet a cute puppy at a lakeside Rosh Hashanah ceremony. It was hearing people say “L’Shana Tova” as they passed each other on crosswalks, and it was exchanging wishes for a sweet new year with people I’ve never met before.
For the past 18 years, I’ve gotten used to going to services and eating kugel, gefilte fish, and Don Hermann & Sons pickles with my family, but being part of such a vibrant community (or eating Matzo-ball soup in 80º weather, for that matter) has not always been the norm for me. I am happy to be where I am, and I am eager to see what this new year will bring.
Shana Tova to my Jewish family and friends!