August 5, 2013

My name is Amelia Ender and I am the Jewish chaplain at Mount Holyoke College.  I welcome you to our lovely campus and to our vibrant Jewish community.  The Jewish Student Union (JSU) is an active student group, both diverse and inclusive.  Whatever your denomination or non-denomination, you will be warmly welcomed and included and helped to find a place to express your spiritual, religious and cultural as well as social, interests and observance.  

Our pluralistic community is a rich and ever-changing venue, comprised of the ideas, interests, questions, traditions, songs, recipes - which you all bring from your amazingly varied and unique backgrounds!   All are welcome and appreciated.

Typically we begin the fall semester with a social gathering and orientation, however the High Holidays are very early this year, starting very shortly after your arrival at Mount Holyoke College; therefore the first Jewish community event will be the evening Rosh Hashanah service held at Mount Holyoke (on Wednesday September 4th   at 5:30) followed by a catered kosher holiday meal at 7. Our welcome brunch is scheduled right after Rosh Hashanah, on Sunday, September 8th from 1-4 at Eliot House.  This is a social gathering to introduce ourselves and help orient you to Jewish life on campus.  The JSU board and I will be happy to meet you all during the Holidays and/or at the brunch and we will share ways that you can be involved in JSU events and activities during the fall semester and throughout the year.

As you settle into your dorm and begin to orient to the campus, come and visit Eliot House, the center for Religious and Spiritual Life at Mount Holyoke. In addition to a dynamic Jewish community, we are an interfaith community who together share and explore religious, moral and ethical issues in a supportive environment.

I look forward to meeting you all.  Please feel free to get in touch with me before or after you arrive on campus.

Amelia Ender
Jewish Chaplain


Important information for the Jewish holiday, Rosh Hashannah

Students who are registered or waitlisted for classes that begin on Thursday, September 5 and who are observing the holiday should email their instructors and ask that their places on the class rosters/waitlists be held for them. Our registrar, Elizabeth Pyle has asked that faculty not remove from their rosters students who are, due to the holiday, absent from the first class meeting. Faculty have also been informed that some students will observe the second day of the holiday on Friday, September 6, necessitating their absence from class on that day as well. Do keep your instructors informed! If an instructor observing the holiday plans to cancel a class meeting on Thursday (or Friday), you may expect to hear from him or her, in advance, via email."

Upcoming Events

Rosh Hashannah Service
Wednesday, September 4, 5:30 pm- 7 pm Abbey Interfaith Sanctuary

Rosh Hashannah Dinner
Wednesday, September 4, 7:00 - 9:00 pm, Eliot House Lounge

Gather at Eliot House Lobby for Tashlich
Thursday, September 5, 4:00 pm
Eliot House Lobby

Yom Kippur Service
Friday, September 13, 6:00 - 8:00 pm, Abbey Interfaith Sanctuary

JSU Welcome Bagels & Lox Brunch
Sunday, September 8, 1:00 - 3:00 pm, Eliot House Lounge
Join Amelia Ender, our Jewish Chaplain and the JSU students for a welcome brunch.  Learn about what the students have planned for the upcoming year, where the Sukkot is placed, how Passover is celebrated at MHC and much more.

To be placed on the email list, please fill out a Contact Request Form.

The Jewish community has a strong and enthusiastic presence on campus. We are a pluralistic community; whatever your denomination (or non-denomination) you will be welcomed and included and helped to find a way to express your particular spiritual, religious and cultural observance. The JSU (Jewish Student Union) is a social, cultural and religious organization, serving the needs of MHC students interested in participation in Jewish life on campus.

Eliot House provides Kosher for Passover meals.  For more information on Kosher dining at MHC, please check out the Wilder Dining Hall on the Dining Services web site.

On-going services at Mount Holyoke include a community Shabbat service and dinner once a month at Eliot House, and weekly Friday evening gatherings for Kabbalat Shabbat.  The gatherings are led by students and by Amelia Ender, Chaplain to the College and Advisor to the Jewish Community.  We celebrate all the Jewish holidays, some on campus at our own beautiful Abbey Interfaith Sanctuary, and some together with The Five College Hillel communities at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst. Additionally, we have regular cultural events, tikkun olam projects, and social gatherings.  We offer innovative programming, based on student interest, such as Rosh Hodesh gatherings, etc.  Additionally, we frequently join with other faith groups for dialogue, interchange and programs to enhance our understanding of each other. There is plenty of opportunity for learning: assuming leadership roles on the JSU Board or a committee; leading a Seder or a service; learning to chant from the Torah or haftarah; improving your Hebrew, and exploring your own spiritual and religious expression.  The Jewish community at MHC has an email group list. If you would like to learn more about the group and Jewish observance at Mount Holyoke please feel free to contact Amelia Ender

Click here to see the Mount Holyoke Jewish Student Union Photo Gallery!

Jewish Feast