Hillel observes beginning of Yom Kippur

Dana Miller

Kent State Hillel held Kol Nidre, a prayer service for the night before Yom Kippur, at Cohn Jewish Student Center on Tuesday night.

Joanna Levin, a freshman public relations major, said Yom Kippur, which starts on Wednesday, is the ending of the High Holidays in the Jewish religion.

The service, led by Rabbi Lee Moore, consisted of singing melodies and saying prayers for repentance and recognizing sins.

Alana Bandos, the student life coordinator at Hillel, said she sees the service as an important way to connect students to the Jewish heritage.

“It’s central to the Jewish practice, Bandos said. “Observing this day of atonement has been around for 4,000 years.”

Bandos said there are about 1,000 Jewish students on Kent State’s main campus, but for many students this may be their first time observing Yom Kippur. She hopes this becomes an annual tradition.

“For those who have observed before, I hope they can strive to be better people even in a small way,” Bandos said.

Starting at dinner time on Tuesday until dinner time on Wednesday, students observing Yom Kippur will be fasting.

Levin said the act of fasting is to help “check back into ourselves. It’s about forgiveness and letting things go.”

After attending Jewish schools for the majority of her life, Rachael Kaufman, a freshman speech pathology and audiology major, said Tuesday’s service gave her a new perspective. 

“This holiday is so personal, but it unites us all,” Kaufman said. “I find myself meeting new people that have different experiences than me, and I can bounce off of their experiences.”

Going forward, Kaufman said she hopes to grow from this year’s Yom Kippur. She said it’s a holiday about oneself, something that hasn’t sunk into her in that way until now.

Yom Kippur celebrations will continue on Wednesday with Shacharit, a morning service, at 10 a.m. in the Cohn Jewish Student Center.

Dana Miller is a diversity editor, contact her at [email protected]