JLC and the New Director of Jewish Life


Lauren Dauber

This year, there will be no more challah bake-offs or Ma’amadim in which students guess the crazy hamantaschen filling. COVID-19 has forced Emery Jewish Life Committee (JLC) to change the way that Jewish Life activities have been done before and transition to video-based or outdoor programs. 

Rabbi Laura Sheinkopf, Emery’s new Director of Jewish Life, is at the forefront of reimagining Jewish life on campus. This teacher of Women’s Leadership, Holocaust and Memory, Jewish Living, and sophomore Judaic studies, believes Emery could be doing a “better job” of integrating Jewish life into more of student life and is committed to increasing Emery’s Jewishness. To these ends, Sheinkopf is exploring a cross-curricular project about Passover and an English lesson connecting trees to Tu B’shvat

Sheinkopf is also advocating for school trips to have more of a Jewish crossover and to connect nature and trip experiences to the Emery Jewish pluralistic viewpoint. Sheinkopf is even thinking about starting a class to teach Emery parents about Judaism. 

In conjunction with Rabbi Sheinkopf, Emery’s JLC is helping to reimagine Emery’s Jewish life. This year, the JLC is a women-led club with Senior Samantha Sorkin as its President and Rabbi Sheinkopf as its sponsor.  Sophomore Chloe Heyl serves as Communications Officer in charge of creating the videos that play in Ma’amad at most Jewish holiday programming. This year, the club produced a video series called: “Surviving the Jewish Holidays with the JLC.” The video that played at Sukkot was Survivor-themed. There were challenges and games relating to the holiday, and Chloe edited the video to make it enjoyable for the audience. 

JLC’s Purim video, inspired by Project Runway and Next Top Model, starts production next week with special guests Ms. Ashley Lauderdale, Ms. Dana Aboulafia, and Mr. James Gallaher. In addition to the video, the JLC stages its yearly costume contest and will release more information as Purim comes closer. 

Since there are many Jewish holiday activities planned by the JLC every year, most in JLC have different favorite moments. Samantha and Chloe’s favorite memory is when the whole JLC went to Whataburger after last year’s Shabbat Across Emery. Chloe especially liked it because it was a way for her to get to know the upperclassmen and bond with all of the club members. Sheinkopf loved attending Shabbat Across Emery this year because, she said, it seemed like there was a good turn out and everyone had a good time. 

The great chemistry in the JLC board has allowed for so many fun and creative ideas – all of which are Covid-friendly. 


***Disclaimer: Lauren Dauber is an active participant in JLC; she is the vice president.