"After I graduate this Fall I’m excited to start working at KU Hillel as a Special Projects Coordinator! I will be working on Israel programming, event planning, communication and student engagement. It almost seems too good to be true, as my desired career is working for a Jewish nonprofit organization. After May commencement I plan to travel to Israel for a month with my boyfriend, where we will participate in the Mayanot Institute of Jewish Studies. We both feel it is important to dive deeper into our Jewish identities and build a strong foundation of knowledge and passion for Judaism and Torah. If it weren't for my Jewish Studies minor, I might not have studied abroad in Israel my sophomore year, which is when my entire life changed. After this trip I started observing Jewish law, and began to discover the type of life that I wanted to lead, one centered around Judaism, pure love, and happiness." -Abby
After graduation, Caleb will attend the Conservative Yeshiva in Jerusalem as part of a 5-year program with the Hebrew College Rabbinical School. He has received two scholarships to help fund his rabbinic studies including an Israel Fellowship from Hebrew College, and a Lishma Fellowship from the Conservative Yeshiva. Caleb wants to attend rabbinical school to become a rabbi who is also a gay, Orthodox Jew. He wishes to work on issues related to the Orthodox LGBTQ community, including representation and advocacy, access to ritual, and resolving Halachic issues.
“In August 2018, I will be making Aliyah (moving to Israel) and after a couple of months will serve in the IDF (Israeli Defense Force). I won’t know what unit or position I will have until I go through the draft process, but I know that the knowledge and skills I’ve received from my time at KU will be directly transferable to my IDF service. When I am not on base, I will be living with a host family on a kibbutz in the south. The Jewish Studies major allowed me to live and study in Israel for a semester, helping to strengthen a passion for Jewish spaces and cultivating a personal ownership over America’s role in their relationship with Israel.“ -Sam
"After graduation I will be moving to Jackson, Mississippi to work for the Institute for Southern Jewish Life as an Education Fellow. I will be based in Jackson for the next two years and will be traveling around the South helping various congregations with their Jewish curriculums and programming. I am very grateful that the Jewish Studies program at KU has prepared me for this next chapter in my life." - Mackenzie
"I currently work at Hillel International in Washington DC on the Measurement Team as a Measurement Associate. In this position, I work with the Measuring Excellence program which tracks student metric and financial fundraising data. I work with Hillel professionals to better understand how to be data informed and why having a data informed Hillel is important. The Jewish Studies Program at KU really allowed me to explore and experience all types of Jewish Studies and allowed me to connect to my professional career." - Sarah
"I have accepted a position as Israel Engagement Associate at The University of Delaware. I will be taking my Jayhawk pride into Blue Hen country. I will be working with students to build their relationship with Israel as well as staffing their Birthright trips. Israel is at the forefront of foreign policy for the United States and there should be a dialogue that students and campuses are comfortable coming together to talk about. I have always had a special connection to Israel and I can not wait for it to become my career. The Jewish Studies department has been a great support system during my time here at KU and helped me study abroad at The University of Haifa. I can not wait to see what the future holds in the Jewish professional world." -Becca
"I’m excited to begin the next part of my life in New York City as the inaugural Presidential Fellow for Millennial Engagement at the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ). I'll be working with the URJ and its partner organizations to create and implement strategies to more effectively engage millennials (people in their 20s and 30s) in Jewish life. I have always had a strong connection to Reform Judaism through camp and youth group, and I can’t wait to pursue this passion professionally. Reflecting upon my Jewish experiences at KU, the Jewish Studies Program allowed me to explore and discover different aspects of Judaism and expand my connection to the Jewish religion, culture, and people." -Evan
Molly Rissien was the first student to graduate from KU with a Special Major in Jewish Studies. This historic moment was written about in the Kansas City Jewish Chronicle. She also majored in Applied Behavioral Science with a focus in Early Childhood Autism Intervention. She works as a Para-Educator for Keshet: A Rainbow of Hope for Children and Adults with Special Needs, located in Chicago, IL. Keshet is a not-for-profit organization providing educational, recreational, vocational and social programs for individuals with intellectual disabilities, operating according to Jewish values.