Penguin Hall Students Launch Jewish Student Union (JSU)

When Adriana K., a rising Senior and member of the APH Class of 2021 joined APH three years ago, she had no idea how many wonderful opportunities and community connections she would create during her time here. A resident of Lynnfield, Adriana is a devout member of her Jewish Community; however, much of that community lives outside her town’s borders, including here at Penguin Hall.

The Jewish Student Union at APH was established earlier this year by seniors Jenn B. ’20 and Lila C. ’20. A member of the APH JSU since its founding, Adriana understood Jenn and Lila were starting to focus on the next phase of their lives, and she quickly realized she could affect more change if she was in a position of leadership. Following this reflection, she approached her peers and current Presidents Jenn and Lila about her desire to lead, her goals to grow the JSU, and her vision for the future. Soon after, Adriana was appointed to lead the APH JSU as President later this year.

An elected Fellow of the Holocaust Legacy Foundation, Adriana has taken the experience’s she’s gained as a fellow to craft her vision and goals for the APH JSU. The learning experiences she’s had — both inside and out of APH — have helped build her confidence to lead and educate others. “I just feel so much more empowered to go out and share what I know, because I feel like you can never know enough, just about anything! There’s so many different things that people have to say, so if a familiar face can bring insight, I feel like that could be helpful and accepted by people at our school!”

Adriana feels that acceptance and communication are very important to helping people better understand Jewish culture. Throughout her life, Adriana has experienced both the “highs and lows in her identity as a Jewish person,” so she hopes to have guest speakers visit APH on behalf of the APH JSU to share their experiences with students and the community. “I think learning and discussion makes for such a better experience. There are so many people out there are willing to talk to you,” Adriana said.  

Another of her ideas is for the JSU to hold an all-school assembly during Holocaust Remembrance Month to help spark new dialogue and awareness about Jewish history, traditions and culture. In addition, Adriana wants to connect with Chef Rich to discuss opportunities for the JSU and peers to come together to cook and learn about the historical and cultural significance of traditional Jewish foods, like Falafel and Challah.

A self-proclaimed “foodie,” Adriana and her family has kept busy during their extra free time (due to quarantine) in the kitchen, sampling new recipes and perfecting their palettes. A lover of Volleyball, Adriana looks forward to utilizing the leadership skills she’s learned on the court and the culinary skills she’s built in the kitchen to lead and grow the APH JSU next year.

Adrianna K. ’21, member of Penguin Hall’s JSU