Students to visit D.C. to learn about black, Jewish cultural history

Megan Moore

Tomorrow is last day students can apply for the trip

Students hope an upcoming trip to Washington, D.C. will serve as an opportunity to learn more about the history of two cultural groups at Kent State.

Kent State’s Jewish Studies Program and Department of Pan African Studies, in partnership with Hillel Jewish Student Center, are planning the “Slavery, Swastikas, Survival: Black-Jewish Diversity Awareness Trip” to Washington D.C. next week.

From Nov. 14 to 16, a select group of students will travel to the nation’s capital to broaden their understandings about both African-American and Jewish culture and history. The deadline to apply for the trip is tomorrow.

The trip is open to all Kent State undergraduate students, but interested students must fill out an application and be selected for the trip. Students do not have to be African-American or Jewish to apply.

Mike Levinstein, the assistant director at Hillel and overseer of the trip, said they are in the midst of an application process to make sure it’s the most diverse group possible. Forty-four students will be selected.

How to apply for

a trip to Washington

Applications for the Black-Jewish Diversity Awareness trip can be found either in the Pan-African or Jewish Studies offices or on the Hillel Web site, www.kenthillel.org. They are due tomorrow.

Applications will be accepted at Hillel, located at 202 North Lincoln Street, down the street from Papa John’s. You must bring proof of enrollment as a Kent State undergraduate student and also the $80 participation fee, which covers transportation to and from Washington D.C., lodging for two nights with continental breakfasts, dinner Friday night, lunch Saturday and program materials.

For more information about the trip, students can direct their questions to the Hillel Jewish Center at 330-678-0397

or by e-mail to

[email protected]

On the trip, students will be visiting the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and the African-American History Exhibit at the Stephen Decatur House, which is located directly across from the White House. They will also be holding workshops and will have free time to explore the city.

The last time a diversity trip like this occurred was in the 2006-07 academic year.

Jenny Reiser, a 2005 Kent State graduate, participated in a diversity trip focusing on Judaism and Catholicism. She enjoyed both the social and educational aspects of the trip.

“Going to the Holocaust Museum in D.C. has such a bigger impact than just taking a class on the Holocaust or watching a movie that focuses its plot on the Holocaust,” she wrote in an e-mail.

Levinstein said he thinks it is important for students to familiarize themselves with other cultures.

“College is to prepare you for the real world, and the real world is diverse,” Levinstein said. “There is so much to be gained by spending time with different people.”

Contact news correspondent Megan Moore at [email protected].