I absolutely applaud The Jewish Standard for its editorial about being Jewish and going off to college (“College ready,” July 20). However, the timing is slightly off. The conversation about what it means to be Jewish while in college should take place not on the eve of freshman year but during the college search itself.
Just as prospective students need to consider distance from home, finances, size of school, student life, and of course academics, so, too, should they think about what role, if any, they want Judaism to play in college. By asking the question during the college search, they can have an eye toward choosing schools with active Jewish communities (on and off campus). Waiting until the summer before freshman year may be too late – and could result in a student transferring out down the road.
Yes, get in touch with campus Hillels as well local synagogues, JCCs, and Jewish federations. Find out what they offer and how college students can become involved. But do it as part of the college search – not afterward.