New Jewish Student Union focuses on recruiting and planning

The logo for the newly formed Jewish Student Union (JSU) at Utica College.

Utica College JSU

The logo for the newly formed Jewish Student Union (JSU) at Utica College.

Charles Buckley, Tangerine Clerk

Some Utica College clubs are made for people with similar interests while others are used for just hangout spaces. Union clubs also exist on campus to help bring people together to learn about different cultures and faiths. One such club is the Jewish Student Union.

The JSU was started last semester by the recently elected Student Government Association President Colby Kusinitz. Kusinitz decided to create the JSU hoping that the student body would learn more about the culture and faith of Judaism.

“The JSU started shortly after the Muslim group gained campus approval, and I felt that the Jewish population on campus was very unrepresented,” Kusinitz said. “I had the idea shortly after Kwanzaa because I would like to have a traditional Jewish event like Passover on campus.”

Kusinitz said that like most clubs, JSU had to follow the same procedures. The procedures included finding a club faculty advisor, creating a constitution and becoming recognized by the college through the SGA.

Assistant Professor of Communication Arts Ariel Gratch, a follower of the Jewish faith himself, is the club’s advisor.

Since the club just started last semester, Kusinitz said they are still working on recruiting and planning.

“Hopefully in April, we can hold a traditional Passover Seder,” Kusinitz said. “I would also like to work with Diversity, Equity and Inclusion on future events if possible.”

Kusinitz hopes that as the club continues to recruit and plan, its member base will grow and they can begin to look towards the next year for future events as well.

“Maybe closer to December, we can host a dreidel tournament as well as other Jewish events and traditions,” he said.

For those interested in joining the club, you can find the club roster on PioHub and request to join. You can also contact Kusinitz to express your interest through his email [email protected], which is also located on PioHub along with the other members’ contact information in the roster.