Mishpacha, stronger through consolidation, hosts Hanukkah

Mishpacha, one of SPA’s newest affinity groups, hosted a Hanukkah celebration Dec. 4.  Attendees listened to music and played dreidel, while joy and laughter filled the air. Though they only played for chocolate coins, the games and competitions were intense.

Clubs like GSA, MSA and Common Ground have helped students who identify with a certain group to have a place where they feel fully welcome, but there hasn’t been a place for students who are Jewish or for people who want to talk about Jewish issues to meet before now.

Early in the year, students started two new groups: the affinity group and a student club.  The Jewish affinity group was founded by seniors Numi Katz and Mira Zelle. There was also a club open to all students, the Israel club, that was originally founded by junior Ethan Less and senior Dina Moradian. The consolidated entity is now named Mishpacha, which means “family” in Hebrew.

Both clubs ran for the first few weeks of school but decided to consolidate into a single affinity group because they believed that it would benefit the community more.

“We’ll still bring Israel into the conversation, but the mission is more inward than the Israel club,” Less, co-president of the former Israel Club, said.

The two combined groups hope to help people who identify as Jewish feel more welcome and address common questions and issues.

The Dec. 4 celebration of Hanukkah was open to anyone whether they are Jewish or not. The goal of the celebration was to enjoy the holiday.

“It was really wonderful to see so many people come together to celebrate Hanukkah with us,” Katz said.

Mishpacha meets on Monday tutorials in the Library Classroom.