update deskJewish & Israeli Holidays

For students venturing off-campus, program offers free High Holiday services

AEPi, with the help of Synagogue Connect, built an online database that allows college students to search for congregations within a radius of a location of their choice.

Prayer and services are available to college students for free for the third year in a row, thanks to AEPi and Synagogue Connect. Credit: Pixabay.
Prayer and services are available to college students for free for the third year in a row, thanks to AEPi and Synagogue Connect. Credit: Pixabay.

Working with Synagogue Connect, Alpha Epsilon Pi—the world’s leading Jewish college fraternity—has established an online system to match college students from around the world looking for a congregation at which to spend the Jewish High Holidays for free.

This is the third year of the Alpha Epsilon Pi/Synagogue Connect partnership. The online system is free and open to all Jewish college undergraduate and graduate students looking to get off campus for a variety of reasons.

Synagogue Connect founders Rabbi Ronald Brown and Rabbi Charles Klein have already gotten nearly 1,100 congregations from all denominations (Reform, Reconstructionist, Conservative and Orthodox) and 31 countries to offer free seats to college students. Students merely have to notify the synagogue in advance of the holiday that they will be attending and bring along a college ID.

“There are a number of great resources on campus for Jewish students, but we know that some campuses don’t provide those opportunities, and sometimes students are looking to get off campus for a variety of students,” said Brown. “We’re extremely gratified at the number of congregations which have agreed to open their doors.”

AEPi built an online database that allows students to search for congregations within a radius of a location of their choice for Synagogue Connect and also hosts the online Synagogue Connect program.

“We want to do everything possible to provide more opportunities for our brothers and all Jewish college students to have a meaningful experience during the upcoming High Holidays,” said James Fleischer, AEPi’s chief executive officer. “Of course, many of our brothers will participate in on-campus services at Hillel and Chabad, and we encourage that, but this provides additional opportunities on some campuses and for all students.”

To access the online database, go to: www.synagogueconnect.com.

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