Jewish student groups celebrate Yom Kippur

Yom Kippur is a day of repentance and prayer.
Spencer Pearson / Graphic Designer

The Jewish Student Organization is hosting Yom Kippur services Friday and Saturday at Mizzou Hillel.

JSO Vice President Emily Shyken said, for Jews, Yom Kippur is a day of repentance and forgiveness.

“That’s our day of atonement,” Shyken said. “We fast to show that we want to be forgiven. We’re doing this to be forgiven for everything that we’ve done this year.”

JSO President Sherman Fabes said Yom Kippur is different from the main celebratory Jewish holidays.

“Yom Kippur is a holiday that’s based on repentance and prayer,” Fabes said. “The idea behind Yom Kippur is repenting and to ask for forgiveness from God and from other people.”

Services for Yom Kippur start Friday night with Kol Nidreh, Fabes said.

“It’s the first service of Yom Kippur because Jewish holidays start the night before,” Fabes said. “They start at sundown and end at sundown.”

Shyken said the regular Shabbat dinner will not be held Friday night in order to comply with the fast.

“We’re not serving our normal Shabbat dinner because we will be fasting,” Shyken said. “Then on Saturday we have services at 9:30 a.m. and a 6:00 p.m. Yizkor. It’s a memorial-type service where we remember the people that passed away in our lives.”

To conclude Yom Kippur, there is one final service on Saturday night that ends with a break-fast, Fabes said.

“Saturday night is a break-fast where everybody comes together and celebrates to have bagels or something to eat,” Fabes said.

JSO and Mizzou Hillel will be conducting Yom Kippur activities without Alpha Epsilon Pi Fraternity, Fabes said. The two groups collaborated on Rosh Hashanah festivities earlier this month.

“This is specifically the JSO and Mizzou Hillel,” Fabes said. “It’s run through The Hillel.”

Fabes said JSO and Mizzou Hillel collaborate in order to provide opportunities for Jewish students.

“JSO is the actual student organization at MU and Hillel is the national organization that is on college campuses everywhere for Jewish students,” Fabes said. “It’s a place where you can practice Judaism as a religion as well as a place where you can practice Judaism as a culture. It’s a place where Jewish students can be comfortable around other Jewish students.”

Aside from conducting services for major holidays, JSO and Mizzou Hillel offer a place for Jewish students to go to socialize.

“We have events all the time,” Fabes said. “We have everything from pizza nights and movie nights and study nights to laser tag. We have everything for people to try to get involved and not be afraid to do so.”

Freshman Jake Gordon said that JSO did a good job encouraging participation in the Rosh Hashanah services.

“It was nice that they presented the services in a way that allowed for participants of all denominations of Judaism to participate as much as they wanted,” Gordon said. “Whether someone is reformed orthodox or conservative, they could participate as much or as little as they wanted.”

Shyken said there was a good turnout at Rosh Hashanah services, and she hopes to see a similar turnout this weekend for Yom Kippur.

“We’d love to see everyone come and celebrate with us,” Shyken said.

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