HASHTA: Jewish Voices on a Secular Campus

Check out Volume 2 of Hashta, Spring 2009!

            In the fall of 2008, the first issue of Hashta: Jewish Voices on a Secular Campus was produced.  Published quietly, the new journal drifted under the radar of many members of the Jewish community on campus. Now, in 2009, Hashta is joining with the Jewish Renaissance Project (JRP), becoming part of a larger effort to explore the relationship between Judaism and academia, and between Jews and the rest of the world.

            JRP is a student-run group that facilitates informal Jewish education at the University of Maryland. It fosters intellectual reflection on contemporary Jewish cultural, historical, and ethical issues using a variety of lenses to provoke innovative thought. It attempts to open students’ minds to consider other opinions and question their habitual judgments.  It is with this goal in mind that Hashta is being taken under the umbrella of JRP.

The goal of Hashta is to promote interdisciplinary learning and discussion.  In the words of Rafi Karkowsky, who I thank for all of his patience and advice, "The title of the journal is Aramaic, the language of the Talmud, and means “now,” reflecting the journal’s goal of dealing with current questions that are on the mind of the contemporary Jew".  Each issue of Hashta will include articles with a wide range of topics that approach Judaism from different perspectives and a variety of angles. 

With my own graduation at hand, I am proud to have established Hashta, and to be leaving it in the hands of the JRP fellows.  Each year, the fellows come from a variety of backgrounds, guaranteeing a range of perspectives, and the variety of programs JRP offers allow the group to target diverse populations. JRP programs include peer-led discussions on contemporary Jewish issues, collaborative halachic learning, combinations of religious and secular intellectual activities, and more. I leave the University of Maryland with the hope that Hashta will continue to promote Jewish learning and discussion of the space that we negotiate as Jewish students on a secular campus.

In a world where the internet and easy travel connects cultures from every corner of the earth, it is even more necessary to be able to interact intelligently and respectfully with others.  This begins with an understanding of our own culture, and a continual pursuit of new knowledge and understanding.

Please take the time to read, learn, and enjoy!

--Talia Goldman, Executive Editor

If you are interested in submitting an article for the next issue of Hashta: Jewish Voices on a Secular Campus, please look at the guidelines for submission.

Hashta Staff:

Executive Editor: Talia Goldman, Class of '09
Associate Editor: Hannah Wenger, Class of '11

Logo designed by Deborah Kerzhner and Michael Gevaryahu