Chaverim represents the Jewish social organization at Colorado College. Chaverim is responsible for organizing holiday activities, social events and educational opportunities for Jewish students. All Hillel students are automatically members of Temple Shalom, if they so desire, a synagogue with Dual Affiliation with the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism and the Union of Reform Judaism.
Frequently Asked Questions
What does the word Chaverim mean?
Chaverim is the Hebrew word for "friends".
How many Jewish students attend CC?
Our estimates place the Jewish population at CC at about 120 students, or 5% of the school's population. If non-practicing, non-identifying Jews are included the number may be up to 150-200 or more.
A brief description of Chaverim/Hillel
Chaverim/Hillel is the Jewish cultural group on the Colorado College campus. The Chaplain's office, Temple Shalom (Colorado Spring's largest Synagogue), Minority Student Life, and nationwide Hillel are just a few of the organizations with which we are affiliated. Chaverim/Hillel receives funds through the Colorado College student government (CCCA) as a minority student group. As such, we are largely "cultural" and do not exclude non-Jews or non-practicing Jews from our events. Chaverim/Hillel helps students celebrate most major holidays, hosts a Shabbat dinner about once each block, and ensures the presence of Jewish culture on campus. Anyone interested in Judaism or Jewish culture is invited to join.
When and where do we meet?
Hillel/Chaverim meets every Friday of the block from 5-8 at the Interfaith House for weekly Shabbat Dinners. We all cook and enjoy a meal together, as well as cover any important news or upcoming events. All are always welcome.
How many students are currently in the organization? How many students regularly attend meetings and events?
Approximately 120 students are on the Chaverim/Hillel mailing list, while 10 regularly attend meetings. Average event attendance is 15-30, while larger events draw 40 or more.
What is Chaverim/Hillel hoping to accomplish as an organization? What is our mission statement?
Chaverim exists to ensure there is a strong Jewish presence on campus. Our goals include providing a setting in which Jewish students can interact, promoting an understanding and acceptance of Judaism on campus, and hosting events through which the Colorado College community can learn about Jewish culture and traditions. We help form ties to the local Jewish community, facilitating religious associations, and try to promote the exchange of ideas about Judaism among observant Jews, cultural (or secular) Jews and non-Jews on campus.
Like all minority student organizations, we bring students together to promote their identities. This social interaction helps students gain the confidence to openly express their minority heritage while at Colorado College. As a campus resource, we hope students and faculty will consult us whenever they have questions pertaining to Judaism, whether it be concern over missed classes during the High Holy Days, holiday decorations in the dorms, or curriculum changes. Most importantly, we try to expose, and thus educate, the student body, as a whole, to Jewish culture through our sponsorship of cultural events.
What Jewish studies courses does Colorado College offer for credit?
Colorado College's academic program includes Jewish Studies, Hebrew Language, Holocaust Studies and Jewish Music. The library has a section of its website devoted to Judaic Resources. Three annual scholarships are also available through The Mitzvah Research and Travel Opportunity.
Is Hebrew offered?
Yes, Kobi Chumash is the Coordinator of Jewish Life here at CC as well as the Hebrew adjunct professor. Courses are offered for a full semester (equivalent to 1 credit hour) in Hebrew through the Religion Department. Kobi teaches three levels: beginning, intermediate, and advanced.
There are other resources sometimes operating in the Colorado Springs area as well. Temple Shalom and Temple Beit Torah may both have adult Hebrew classes, or at least be able to point you toward a private tutor. Finally, the local Hadassah has occasionally had weekly classes.
Does Colorado College offer opportunities for study In Israel; or accept credits from Israeli institutions?
Colorado College offers opportunities to study at Hebrew University and elsewhere in Israel.
What are the provisions for kosher dining on campus?
The College does not provide kosher food on campus. Students who keep kosher can be exempted from the meal plan.
Do Jewish students tend to live in certain housing areas?
Are there Jewish fraternities or sororities?
There is no Jewish fraternity or sorority on campus (although students are free to try to bring new organizations to campus).
What is our affiliation with Hillel?
We often go by Chaverim/Hillel as we are affiliated with Hillel at a larger level. We participate in several Hillel Council of Colorado events each year, and as a small campus, we are able to apply for special "Soref Grants" through the National Hillel.
Do any Jewish federations provide financial support for your Hillel?
With which sect of Judaism do most students identify?
Most Jewish students at CC are reform, but Chaverim/Hillel leans a little more toward the conservative side, in maintaining traditional observances and customs.
What is it like being Jewish in Colorado Springs?
Colorado Springs, as a whole, is rather conservative, but CC, in general, is a beacon of liberal thought within the conservative West. In general, few CC Jewish students (or CC students in general) are directly affected by the community's conservatism. We have not heard of a single case of anti-Semitism in the last three years (our time at CC).
Does Chaverim/Hillel hold events in the larger community?
Chaverim/Hillel tries to
participate in the larger Colorado Springs Jewish community, providing transportation
to High Holiday services, bringing Jewish professionals to campus to lead discussions
and periodically organizing students for Shabbat services.