Finally, at 7 a.m., 25 minutes before the sun actually rose we made it to the rock, accompanied by another group and two dogs. We bundled up under blankets, and watched the sun rise. We ended the hike with muffins and icebreakers, even though the wind was still strong, and it wasn’t getting any warmer outside. Nevertheless, it was a positive experience over all. As FYC Co-Chair, it was a treat to experience some of the first years’ first Humpback Hike. No matter how early it might be or how miserable the weather might be, watching a beautiful sunrise with good company is an experience you don’t want to pass up.
-- Alex Nebel
FYC Co-Chair and Class of 2018
Since that first event we have participated in a number of other activities that have allowed us to make even more connections. We tie-dyed shirts, picked apples at Carter Mountain Orchard, and most recently went on a sunrise hike on Humpback Rock. I also cannot forget to mention the acclaimed Bagels on the Lawn every week, which an increasing number of first years have been attending. I honestly did not know what to expect out of Hillel, but I have gotten more excited with every event.
As a first year representative, I have also had the opportunity to get more first years involved-- whether that be through promotion of events or just talking to people about what they are looking to get out of Hillel. About two weeks ago I had an idea to organize a first year dinner at one of the dining halls in order for people to get to know each other outside of a Hillel-sponsored event. The turnout wound up being great and there were even a few new faces. This past week we also had our first year retreat and first year movie night, which both went extremely well and seemed to make everyone enthusiastic for the rest of the year. It has been a great experience getting to know my fellow WaJews and I am excited to continue this journey during the next four years.
Wa-Jew Class of 2018
That’s why I’m glad that I did this hike for two big reasons. First, to complete a big part of the UVA experience. Second, to really get a chance to bond, not only with members of the JLC, but with other Jewish First-Years, at well. Nothing bonds people more closely than struggling up a mountain together and enjoying a beautiful sunrise. I can’t wait for more events designed for us First-Years because I know that they’re going to be awesome!
Wa-Jew Class of 2018
For more information about how to get involved with First-Year activities, contact Sam Magnes or Zak Krooks.
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.