By Julia Train
On Sept. 15, Rider University’s chapter of Hillel held a “Welcome Back Ice Cream Social” on the Bart Luedeke Center’s lower level patio. The event was for students within the Jewish community on campus. Students could stop by and meet other people that are part of the same religion.
Eliana Evers, a senior elementary education major, and Sydney Gold, a senior organizational psychology major, sat at a table next to the door with three other members and a plastic tub filled with 50 pre-packaged ice cream pops.
They also had a tri-fold poster on the table that contained pictures from past events, which they also had on their table at Broncapalooza.
Evers and Gold are co-presidents and take care of all e-board roles until they get more members.
Although the organization is meant for Jewish students, non-Jewish students can also join. According to the co-presidents, there are 20-25 members, and a quarter of them are non-Jewish.
“We don’t really stress religion as much as you would expect because we’d rather just provide a safe space for any student whether they’re Jewish or not,” Gold.
The two started planning the social at the end of August, booking the space, catering, cleanup and more. They also started advertising the event during the first week of school at Broncapalooza.
The co-presidents strategically picked the placement of their event so that they can draw more attention to their organization. Students coming and going from Cranberry’s stopped at the table to check out what was happening.
“Between Bronc Nation and the interest we got at Broncapalooza, it was very encouraging because it’s great to see how we do have a Jewish community here on campus,” said Evers.
Students that intentionally came for the organization took an ice cream pop and sat down at the fire pit, waiting to hear what the members had to say about their organization. However, those that didn’t know there was an event continued on their way after taking an ice cream pop.
“There are still a lot of people that kind of float through our events, just seeing what we’re all about and that’s really all we ask for,” said Gold, “[We] just want [to be able] to say ‘Hi, we’re a presence here on campus and we’d love for you to be here’.”