Creating Social Value Blog / Service in Action

Faith at Babson College– Kelvin Ha

On October 30 at 6:30PM, I attended a Sabbath dinner at Babson College. I attended the event not with the original intention of writing it as my journal response, but instead because I was curious about this Jewish event. I was first introduced to the series of Jewish event at Babson by Jeremy, as well as Stephanie from my floor and FYS class. There are very few Jewish in Hong Kong, and as a matter of fact my first understanding, or encounter with the Jewish people occurred when I read about their nation in the book Safe Area Gorazade in Rhetoric A class, and from Jeremy’s, who is Jewish, point of view. Living in Hong Kong, which is a multi-cultural society, I have been exposed to, and have since young been fascinated by different nations, and how they interact. With this interest, and hearing from Stephanie that there would be a Sabbath dinner that Friday, I did not hesitate to attend. I attended the event with the intention to learn more about the customs, and traditions of the Jews.

I joined the event after I finish work that day in Sorenson. The event started with everyone sitting down, and listening to a Babson junior singing a series of Jewish songs. Although I have difficulty understanding the language, I still enjoyed the tune, and tried to enjoy along with the others. Next, we surrounded closely as a circle, and said a Jewish prayer, before we broke bread and wine, and divided among others.

That night, the event was attended by a group of around ten people, of whom all of them Jewish. During the event, we had the opportunity to talk, and they patiently explained their culture to me. This answered a lot of my question, and therefore accomplished what I hoped to learn in the first place. At the same time, they also asked about Hong Kong, including whether there were any Jews, what was the ethnic composition etc. This had been a very rewarding session. I believe this is in part due to the fact that I attended the event with an open mind in the first place. This is something I bring from Hong Kong – we have to recognize that there are different religions or ethnicity in the world, and while what they do may be different to what you are accustomed to, you must learn to accept. With this attitude, I find myself learning, and enjoying a lot. I would definitely join another similar event again in the future.

— Kelvin Ha, Class of 2016