Blog Author:
Larry Moneta, Vice President for Student Affairs

Dear Duke Families,

As I look out my office window, I have the privilege of seeing our students walking (and rushing) by between classes, meals, meetings and study venues. So many things are apparent on the rare occasion that I get to just pause and admire the passersby. I notice that many seem either immune to the winter chill or in denial about the need to wear warmer clothes! I notice that rarely is anyone walking alone. Students travel in pairs, groups and masses! I notice that some kind of technological device is apparently welded to their ears or their palms (hopefully talking or texting with you). But, I also notice how remarkably different they are, reflecting the substantial and wonderful diversity within the Duke student body.

Blog Author:
Chris Heltne, Student Affairs

Rabbi Elana Friedman began her work as Campus Rabbi for Jewish Life at Duke earlier this year. She can be reached at the Freeman Center for Jewish Life, 919-684-3138, or

Blog Author:
Christy Lohr Sapp, Associate Dean for Religious Life, Duke Chapel

Thumbnail A friar, an imam and a rabbi walk into a lounge … This might sound like the start of a joke, but actually, it’s the start of an interfaith gathering on campus. The Duke Chapel Lounge is not a 70s-era bar with dim lighting, fruity drinks and mood music, but it is a place where connections are made and interfaith interaction happens on a regular basis.

Submitted by Kayla Bakhshian, Class of 2015

We had a (super) early start to our jam packed day. The day began with a trip to the Golan to hike the Zafitan. While there were many times where I personally felt like I had to push myself, the rocky hike was well worth every single one of those moments. There were beautiful views and stops including two swims in a river running through the mountain. Another bonus was that the group became tighter as we all helped eachother through the steeper and more difficult parts of the hike.

After a long and exciting hike we boarded the bus and headed to a Druze village to eat what some call "The Best Falafel in Israel".  They were delicious to say the least.