Hoos for Israel decided a few months ago that it was necessary to include an Israeli cultural event in our menu of semester programming. We wanted an engaging, interactive event, and our Krav Maga workshop definitely delivered. We contacted Charlottesville Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (which teaches many forms of martial arts), and Gordon Emery and David Sanders kindly came out to the BJC to give us a two-hour crash course in Krav. During the lesson, we learned awareness training, effective striking techniques, footwork patterns, escape maneuvers, and many other basic moves.
Krav is unique in its practicality; it emphasizes always being aware of one’s surroundings and to take care of the immediate threat. Besides being employed by the Israeli Defense Forces, Krav is useful for everyday street protection. Founder Imi Lichtenfeld said he wanted to instruct Krav, “so that one may walk in peace.” I think I correctly speak for myself-- and everyone else who attended the course-- that we walked away feeling a little more confident in our ability to defend ourselves. I know that I will definitely be looking into Charlottesville Brazilian Jiu Jitsu’s Krav course next semester due to the success of the event.
Class of 2016
Thursday, First Year Connection hosted an event that featured the university’s premiere improv comedy group, The Whethermen! One of our Peer Network Engagement Interns, Zach Gelfand, is a member of the group and helped organize the event. When everyone first arrived, we enjoyed lots of pizza and mingling! We had a great turn out and were excited to see so many people come out to the event!
When the Whethermen came on to preform they began with a few of their own skits. In the first one, the audience had to call out a random family member for the performers to act as. In the next skit, the audience had to come up with any title for a movie that the Whethermen could act out. It was quite the experience to see a live performance of the next blockbuster, “The Door Hinge.”
After a few more improve skits, the Whetherman brought us into the action. We started off with a game to get us warmed up, and then they got us acting! As someone who had never stood in front of a bunch of people and acted, it was a pretty fun experience! We had to think on our feet, but even if we weren’t funny everyone was laughing at the silliness of it all. It was nice seeing my friends step out of their comfort zone and be imaginative! Overall, my nerves about hosting this event went away, and I ended up having a great time... and even got into the action myself.
Class of 2017
We all split up the tasks of who was going to supply what, and who was going to be there to set up, clean up, and host at specific times. I had the huge responsibility of providing the cookies – the baking of them was a fabulous study break, and no one is going to complain about nibbling on some of the extra cookie dough! Rachel Ross brought the pumpkins, and people signed up in teams to carve the pumpkins eloquently. Someone created a “V” with a saber. One pumpkin read “Go Hoos!”, and another person carved out a crescent moon. There were some other very clever designs for the pumpkins, as well.
Since the event was during a two-hour period, people trickled in and out as the afternoon rolled on. First through fourth-years attended, and it was great to see some intermingling between the first-years and some upperclassmen. Personally, my friends and I bonded with some new friends over Taylor Swift's amazing new album that was just released. If that doesn't create a lasting friendship, I don’t know what will!
-Dana Wilson, Peer Network Engagement Intern
Class of 2017
The Brody Jewish Center, Hillel at the University of Virginia, is the focal point in a renaissance of Jewish life for the 1,000 Jewish students on Grounds.