Monday, October 4, 2010

Speed Friending, a CJLicious Affair

By Ashwath Rabindranath '13

Before attending the ‘speed-friending’ event at the Center for Jewish Life last night, I couldn’t see how it would make any sense. After all, as a religious organization, shouldn’t the CJL concern itself with matters relating to Judaism, a far cry from the secular task of making friends? I turned out to be wrong on both counts. Jewish law directs one to ’buy good friends’, thus making it, in some sense, a religious activity. But more interesting are the social dynamics of the CJL that made this event so useful. I usually grab lunch at the CJL and even held a job there my freshman year. I’ve noticed a very eclectic group of people with diverse religious, cultural and ethnic ties gravitate towards the CJL as a place of intellectual discussion and debate. This is the CJL’ s way of encouraging this culture, and it turned out to be pretty effective.

A large group of freshmen showed up, several (like myself) with no actual ties to Judaism. As a sophomore, I tend to forget how much fun it is to meet people, having already established my group of friends on campus. And fun it certainly was! I met a group of very cool people who speak insanely many languages and do some pretty amazing things from living in a settlement in the West Bank to studying opera in Germany. I definitely hope to go back soon. Perhaps the only thing that they got wrong was the advertising. CJL, there are now two Wilf Halls on campus. So, do specify which one you mean next time?