All posts by Jennifer Scopp

December Message from Executive Director, Uri Cohen

December 2018

Dear Friends,

As 2018 and the fall semester (my first!) comes to an end, it’s time to review some of what has transpired in the last few months. It’s because of this progress, as well as what we’re setting up for the future that we hope you’ll make a year-end gift to Slifka Center. We’re pleased to announce that all gifts received by the end of 2018 will be matched dollar for dollar up to $10,000 by an anonymous donor – so now’s the time! Click here to make your gift.

Here are some of the highlights of the last few months. We:

• Hired six new staff members, including 3 Rabbis (and me!). Learn more about our amazing staff team here.

• Welcomed first-year students to campus with welcome bags and first-year student programs.

• Hosted a complimentary First Year Welcome Shabbat Dinner for students and families and an informal event after dinner for parents to introduce them to this new phase of life, as well as to the new team at Slifka.

• Hosted many hundreds of students, Yale faculty and staff, and community members for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur services and meals

• Celebrated in our Sukkah on the terrace outside, and danced with the Torah all over campus and in Harkness Tower on Simchat Torah

• Held our annual SlifkaFest on Old Campus to introduce students to Slifka, and to recruit for Birthright Israel

• Served over 1,400 Shabbat dinners

• Hosted our first graduate student initiative of the year – a Rabbi Richard Israel Shabbat Table, which is an exclusive dinner with our new Howard M. Holtzmann Jewish Chaplain – Rabbi Jason Rubenstein

• Co-hosted a community vigil with over 400 attendees and other programs to support our community and fight anti-Semitism in the wake of the Pittsburgh tragedy

• Field trip to Philadelphia to meet Omri Casspi, an Israeli NBA player on the Memphis Grizzlies, and visits to the Museum of American Jewish History and Mikveh Israel Synagogue

• Held our annual Hamentaschen/Latke Debate featuring Professor Joe Fischel and Professor Igor De Souza. This is the ultimate showdown between the two most beloved, most sumptuous, and most Jewish food items of our generation: latkes and  hamentaschen.

• Sponsored Hanukkah candle lighting both in Slifka Center, as well as in a number of residential colleges


As we look forward to the end of the semester and 2019, we eagerly anticipate:

• Beginning new cohorts of the Jewish Learning Fellowship, a 10-week experiential, conversational seminar that invites fellows to deepen their understanding of Judaism on their own terms.

• Launching the Urim Fellowship – an entrepreneurial program where student leaders will help us map out the campus and design strategies to engage Jewish students who have not previously been involved with Jewish life on campus

• Publication of the newest edition of Shibboleth, a magazine of Jewish thought and a circle of Yale students devoted to the discussion, publication and general nurturing of ideas on Yale’s campus, especial when those ideas concern Judaism. (If you would like to receive a copy of the next issue, please contact us at

• Travelling with 34 students in Israel on Birthright.

• Studying with 10 students at the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem as part of the iEngage Student Seminar

• Hosting the re-scheduled Friedlaender-Krohner lecture on January 28, 2019 at 7:00 pm, Sam and Charlie Go to War: Letters Home from Jewish Immigrant Soldiers, 1918-1919. Click here to see the flier. All are welcome.

• Moderating the Israel Education Fellowship which allows students to learn more about Israel aside from what you hear about in the news.

• Co-leading an Alternative Spring Break for Jewish and Latin-x students to Puerto Rico to participate in ongoing Hurricane relief efforts there and promoting cross-cultural exchange.

• Hosting Passover seders, both in Slifka and with our popular Seder To Go boxes where students create their own Jewish memories and host Seders in their residential college or off-campus apartment

• Preparing for a much-needed renovation of the Kosher Kitchen

We are proud, on the one hand, to be bringing Slifka back to some of what has made it so great, by increasing our integration with the University, offering superb intellectual and cultural Jewish programming, and repairing our building so that it can support our work. We are also excited to bring innovative programs, curricula, speakers, and long-term planning that will set Slifka up for success going forward.

Your gift before the end of 2018 will support these and other programs, and signal your commitment to a strong Slifka, and a strong Yale. You can click here to give online, send a check, or make a gift of stock or other assets. You can also name Slifka as a beneficiary in your estate plan by making your Jewish Legacy at Slifka. Want to learn more? Reach out to me at or Jennifer Rogin Wallis at! I’d love to meet you and hear your suggestions. There’s so much greatness ahead – thank you for being our partners in achieving it!



Uri Cohen Executive Director