Wrapping up 2016...finals, latkes, and looking ahead to next semester

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The 2016 Fall semester has officially concluded at Duke and here at the Freeman Center, we saw firsthand just how hard our students work on their academics. As per usual during finals week, we witnessed students camping out in the building until the wee hours of the morning, cramming for exams, putting finishing touches on final papers, and enjoying plenty of free snacks in the lounge (and yes, sometimes they also indulged in a nap or two on one of our couches). We’re always glad to see our students working hard and finding themselves at home in the Freeman Center during the often stressful end of semester stretch.

 But of course, it hasn’t been all work and no play around here: in celebration of Hanukkah, our Jewish Student Union (JSU) hosted their annual Latkapalooza celebration in early December. Over 200 students showed up with their appetites, excited for the fried smorgasbord that awaited them in The Loop. In “ugly” holiday sweaters and dreidel-themed attire, students descended upon the mountain of fried goodies JSU provided. In total, JSU served up 1500 latkes, 120 sufganiyot, and trays upon trays of other fried favorites like mac ‘n cheese balls and mozzarella sticks. With a large and diverse student population in attendance, the event also served as a great way to celebrate the holidays with non-Jewish students. Rachel Berlowe Binder, T’19, who serves as JSU’s Religious Chair, led a candle-lighting ceremony.As we finish up this year, we just wanted to take a moment to express our sincere gratitude for everyone's continued care and support. We’re looking forward to next semester and all the exciting programs on the horizon: details about our spring Birthright Israel trip will be released in January (while you’re waiting, catch up with Jennifer Levin, T'15, blog which chronicles a previous trip); students will attend, even host their own Passover Seders; and we’ll see two Dukies become b’nai mitzvah for the first time. Suffice to say, it’s sure to be an exciting 2017 here at JLD – stay tuned!  
 
Warmly,
Jewish Life at Duke
 

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