Over 40 advisors from the Metropolitan area and beyond attended OU-JLIC’s High School Guidance Counselor Conference this past November at the OU’s national headquarters in Manhattan. The event was part of an ongoing effort to strengthen OU-JLIC’s connection with local day schools.
A panel of OU-JLIC campus directors and staff provided guidance counselors with a window into the unique challenges faced by the incoming Jewish day school graduate, who, for the first time, is on their own without the framework of family or community and must navigate the unchartered territory of secular campus environments. OU-JLIC directors play a critical role during this time of transition by supporting students in observing key aspects of Jewish life, creating a Jewish campus community and providing a warm home away from home.
Advisors at the conference brainstormed in roundtable discussions with OU-JLIC staff on innovative ideas to strengthen the transition from high school to college. They focused on bolstering a “warm handoff,” where a college advisor, teacher, or principal can introduce the student to OU-JLIC directors on their chosen campus, to ensure that each first-year student receives personal attention.
As part of the program, OU-JLIC created a campus brochure for advisors to share with students and parents to assist in their college selection. Offering a brief overview of Jewish life on campus, the brochure profiles 26 colleges with an OU-JLIC couple. Highlights include Jewish student population, dorms, Shabbat, kosher, eruv, minyanim, learning and social opportunities. Perhaps the most vital stat to any hungry college kid: where to find a Friday night dinner and hot underground kiddush.
“OU-JLIC is excited to partner with high school guidance counselors so that together we can safeguard continuity for Torah learning, passion for Israel, and observance of key aspects of Jewish life for graduates who choose OU-JLIC campuses”, says Eliana Steinreich, OU-JLIC Assistant Director of Operations and Development.