While growing up in Israel, I had many opportunities to connect to Judaism. By visiting historic sites, knowing the lively Israelis, or simply the singing of holiday songs at school, I knew that I was always in an environment that cared about me just as much as I cared about the Jewish life around me.
Jewish life in Israel stands in stark contrast to Jewish life at Marquette University, a Jesuit institution. I, however, do not view it as a problem but rather as a challenge.
As a student leader I carry with me the philosophy that every Jewish student deserves to feel like they are a part of a network that offers comfort and support, direction and a sense of Jewish values.
While the Jewish presence on Marquette’s campus may be small, I believe in cultivating that small group in hopes of providing them with the same feelings and values that I experienced while growing up in Israel.
Judaism is much more than a religion; it is a complete circle of faith, values, and a way of life. To instill a sense of Jewish pride in students, and to show them an example of a Jewish leader in an area of life that interests many of us, we invited Howard Megdal, a famous Jewish sports writer to come to Marquette.
Megdal was pleased with the opportunity to speak in front of future Jewish leaders and shared with us his experience in the area of sports writing. Of particular note, he shared with us his interesting findings as he researched and wrote “The Baseball Talmud,” a compilation of the best Jewish players in the history of baseball.
Through his easy going personality, his strong commitment and his pride in Judaism, Megdal was able to connect to his audience and keep them on the edge of their seats with his stories, thoughts, and inspirations.
“It was a great event, he is such a good speaker” said one student in attendance.
“His commitment to his research and to placing Judaism on the map of sports is incredible. Truly inspiring.” said another Marquette student.
The Marquette Jewish Student Union and Hillel Milwaukee believe in enriching Jewish students’ lives as they see the potential of a great Jewish leader in every one of them. The event with Megdal certainly fits that mission, as he left the students with a feeling of pride and hunger to dream big and achieve even bigger.
This program foreshadows many more excellent programs that will be put together by the JSU and Hillel in order to enrich the lives of Jewish students in the Milwaukee area.
Reuven Fridmar is a Marquette University senior majoring in marketing and entrepreneurship.