WASHINGTON, D.C. – For the first time in its almost 200-year history, the University of Alabama will allow a Jewish student group to display a menorah on campus during the Chanukah season, December 24 through January 1. This new seasonal display demonstrates the University’s desire to create a campus life that embodies collaboration, collegiality, respect, and a culture of inclusivity.
For years, the University has displayed a large Christmas tree on campus in celebration of the holiday season. Last year, a Jewish student group requested to display a menorah as a complement to the Christmas tree and to draw attention to the variety of faith traditions that are represented on campus. The University didn’t grant the request, but this year has allowed a menorah display outside the Ferguson Student Center at the Tuscaloosa campus.
“I am proud to be part of the Tide and proud of my Jewish faith,” says Zach Greenberg, president of the University of Alabama Chabad Student Group. “We are excited to share this important part of our religious and cultural heritage with the rest of campus this Chanukah season.”
The Chabad Student Group is an invaluable resource for Jewish students and faculty on campus. Hosting meals, Shabbat services, and study opportunities, Chabad is one of the hundreds of active student groups enriching campus life and offering students the chance to learn from and experience different cultures and faith traditions.
“Allowing students to share their holiday traditions sends a powerful message to all faith groups on the Alabama campus that deeply held faith traditions and cultures should be embraced and celebrated,” said Diana Verm, counsel at the Becket Fund. “There’s no reason the University of Alabama shouldn’t help its students have a happy Chanukah.”
The Chabad Student Group invites students and community members to enjoy the Menorah light display with homemade latkes and donuts on December 29, at 6:30 p.m. at the Crimson Promenade on University of Alabama campus.