The City University of New York at Brooklyn College has an undergraduate enrollment of 14,400 students. The college offers 120 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in the creative arts; humanities; social, behavioral and natural sciences; mathematics; education; and business. Brooklyn College has a Jewish student population of 2,500-5,000 students and Orthodox student community of 250-500. Almost all the students commute from the Brooklyn area. Because of the large Orthodox population Brooklyn College is very accommodating to religious observance. The college is closed for Rosh HaShanah, Yom Kippur, and spring break always coincides with Pesach.
OU-JLIC, in partnership with the Tanger Hillel, provides the community with positive Orthodox experiences. including an oneg shabbat each semester, intercollegiate shabbatons, and “The Real World,” a networking event for students in careers of interest. The OU-JLIC Torah Educators teach popular weekly shiurim: Cinemashiur, which utilizes movie clips as a trigger for discussion on a topic of Jewish thought; Ladle of Inspiration, a short class and cup of soup; a Women’s tefillah shiur; “Marriage 201” for married women; and a halachah shiur for men–”Spirit in the law.” In addition, OU-JLIC and the Orthodox Club collaborate on concerts, a yearly birthright trip, and many intercollegiate projects with other campuses, including paintball, rafting and camping trips.
OU-JLIC creates a warm Shabbat environment for students of Brooklyn College. Each week the OU-JLIC couple hosts students for one meal at their house, and approximately once a month the Hillel offers a free or low-cost Shabbat dinner. On Shabbat morning there is an OU-JLIC minyan at the Kingsway Jewish Center and there is also an OU-JLIC seudah shelishit following mincha with an accompanying shiur or divrei Torah.
Rabbi Reuven and Shira Boshnack’s work with OU-JLIC doesn’t end with weekly events or Shabbat programming. Focusing on students as individuals, the Boshnacks help each student cultivate a personal connection to Judaism. Long after students leave Brooklyn college, they maintain long-lasting relationships with the OU-JLIC couple. Alumni are hosted at the Boshnacks for Shabbat meals and are invited to alumni events. Shira Boshnack started OU-JLIC Connections to help her students and alumni find shidduchim. Once married, many couples seek halachic and hashkafic guidance from the Boshnacks.
Meet The Educators