Dear Northwestern Hillel Community,
It is such an honor to begin my time as Campus Rabbi and to become part of the broader Northwestern Hillel community. I have lived in the Chicago area most of my life, growing up in Evanston and happily returning to Chicago with my husband and daughter a few years ago. I have worked in the Hillel world for over a decade, and my commitment to pluralism and interest in both innovation and tradition are driving forces in my work as a Hillel rabbi.
Though students are the primary focus of our work, one of the things I am most excited about in joining Northwestern Hillel is serving as a rabbi for the community. The integral connection to Evanston and the University, with faculty, staff, alumni, parents, neighbors, and friends, is something I value highly and look forward to continuing to build.
I never imagined when I accepted this position at the beginning of March that we would be preparing to start an academic and Jewish year with such a huge level of uncertainty, locally and globally. Our staff is spending this summer thinking with creativity and intention about how Fall Quarter - and especially the High Holidays - will look. It is clear to us that gathering in person for large community services would not be prudent. We are currently designing a wide array of opportunities for reflection, education, and connection, which are likely to include brief online services for both Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur that will focus on the “greatest hits” of High Holiday liturgy, sermons from me and Executive Director Michael Simon, and time to connect and reflect with other members of the community on the themes of each High Holy Day. Over the next few weeks we will be refining and finalizing our plans. We will then share a detailed outline about what will take place and when, how to access our online offerings, and invite you to participate in the ways that are meaningful to you. Not only your participation, but also your continued support of Northwestern Hillel is critical at this time.
As we plan, I would love to hear what you are looking for from Northwestern Hillel for the High Holidays. Please take this brief survey to let our planning team know. Also, feel free to email me if you’d like to share your thoughts and/or make an appointment to get to know each other.
With gratitude for the warm Wildcat welcome,
Rabbi Jessica Lott