Jewish Student Union builds community

Club expands beyond school


Rachel Arkis

Juniors Isabel Nathan and Ruby Livon fill out papers for a game during a Jewish Student Union meeting. The club meets every Thursday.

Maren Wilsey, Lola Powers, and Cianny Belen

In these trying times, having a supportive community is more important than ever, according to Jewish Student Union (JSU) director Mindy Daitchman. Daitchman said the club provides a valuable community at Park.

“It’s important for the Jewish students to feel like they have a place to come together — (where) everyone understands them and a place for Jewish students to learn about Judaism,” Daitchman said.

Junior Ruby Livon said the club creates a safe space and allows Jewish students to build a community within the student body.

“Having JSU provides an opportunity for Jewish students to really feel like they’re not alone and know that there’s other people like us at our school. (It helps us) connect and relate to the other students here that might share a lot of the same values,” Livon said. “That connection is really important and can help us with other aspects of our high school lives also.”

According to Daitchman, the club often talks about relevant issues in both Park and around the world.

“The topic on Israel is pretty often a hot topic, especially here in St. Louis Park,” Daitchman said. “We try to discuss it and have stuff outside of the club — opportunities for them to learn from professionals and be able to further their education on the topic.”

Junior Isabel Nathan said the club lets members relax and unwind with friends. 

“It’s great to be able to see all my Jewish classmates because I don’t have classes with a lot of them — to have a day of the week where you can just connect and talk and if there’s anything going on, we can talk about it,” Nathan said. “It’s a group (where you’re able) to sit down and let your guard down a little bit and talk about things that happened that week.”

Livon said the influence of the club extends beyond school to help strengthen bonds in the local community. 

“I’m on the board for the youth group outside of school. We do a lot of outside of school activities to connect with Jewish students from other schools and JSU clubs,” Livon said. “If there’s something going on in the Jewish community we can talk about it, share our feelings. It’s nice to connect with other Minnesota Jewish teens.”

For anyone interested in joining JSU, the club meets Thursday’s after school in room B238.