Watch out Chanukkah and Passover! You may have proven yourselves to be two of the most celebrated holidays in the Jewish community, but Rosh Chodesh is hot on your trail. Events and programs celebrating the day a new Jewish month begins are on the rise, and their popularity could give you a run for your money.
For example, this past November the University of Vermont Hillel held their “Once in a New Moon: Women’s Spa Night” to celebrate the new month and women empowerment. Female students learned about the event through a variety of sources, including their sororities, Facebook, Hillel follow-up efforts, and word-of-mouth. The participants, all female students, were invited to honor and celebrate the important women in their lives during an informal candle ceremony, then pamper themselves with organic spa products, sample home-made tasty treats, and win some prizes in a raffle. Students who had prior knowledge of the event were also asked to bring toiletries to donate to the local LUND Family Center, who sent a representative to speak about the organization.
During the event, the University of Vermont Hillel also took advantage of the Bronfman Strategic Engagement Grant and name collection tools recommended by JOI. By including an “interests” section on the raffle ticket, they were able to create an opportunity for students to indicate interest in joining a Jewish women’s group, as well as streamline the Hillel’s efforts in targeted follow-up. With Public Space Rosh Chodesh events like this happening at college campuses around the country, perhaps we’ll see a new name at the top of the Most Often Celebrated Jewish Holidays list.