Students form new organization

On the campus of Missouri Southern, a new Jewish organization is forming.

“The name of the organization is Kesher, the Hebrew word for connection,” said Jason Hare, senior Spanish major. “ it is an affiliation for college-aged Jewish young people. The need is found in the fact that we have so few Jewish students. I feel that a Jewish student organization will attract more Jewish students to our campus.”

The low Jewish student population has been a problem in more ways than one.

“As it’s been in the past, there was a sort of catch-22,” Hare said. “We have so few Jewish students on campus that it has made it hard to have a Jewish student organization and not having a Jewish student organization has surely caused several prospective Jewish students from the area to go elsewhere for their education.”

He said the organization is in the planning process, but already has a certain structure.

“Officers aren’t that important in the organization right now,” Hare said. “But as far as accepting titles, I would be the president.”

The organization is not limited to Jewish students though.

“We would encourage interfaith dialogue participation,” he said.

The organization will focus on working with other local Jewish organizations.

“Basically our organization centers on part in the local synagogue and Jewish life,” Hare said. “So once a month on Fridays, we voluntarily lead the worship service at the United Hebrew Congregation in Joplin. Other than that, we’re just looking to have fun and hang out.”

Another student said he hoped Hare would lead the group because of his networking skills and ability to organize things. He said the organization would be welcome on campus.

“There are not too many Jewish students on campus, but there are a lot of Jewish faculty members,” said Matt Porte, sophomore psychology major. “It would be a good thing to do, I guess mainly if other Jewish students come to town, the club would welcome them here, welcome them to the community and to town.”

There is yet no set date for the first meeting, but Hare welcomes all input.

Any organization interested in scheduling an interfaith event may contact Hare at [email protected].