Jewish at R-H

<p>We are still exploring for our Jr son...is there a Jewish presence at R-H? I saw this Jewish culture club- what is that?</p>

<p>I honestly have no idea beyond the fact that I know that there is a Jewish culture club, so that would indicate that there are some Jews here.</p>

<p>I've done a little research and found that there don't seem to be any synagogues closer than Bloomington or Danville (about an hour drive away). </p>

<p>There is no Hillel at Rose or ISU (Indiana State University, located in Terre Haute), and the nearest one is at Depauw University, about a 40 minute drive from here. My recommendation would be to contact the Rabbi in charge there, he can probably give you the scoop on Jewish life around here.</p>

<p>His email is <a href="mailto:lbogage@depauw.edu">lbogage@depauw.edu</a> .</p>

<p>thanks so much~</p>

<p>Could you post about what he says when you speak with him? I would appreciate it. R-H seems great and the students sound very nice but we're concerned about the culture shock for our child. Thanks!</p>

<p>I did find a reform Temple in Terre Haute, I'll call there and find out the scoop.</p>

<p>Outstanding. Sorry that neither me nor Yahoo Yellow Pages nor Google could find that.</p>

<p>Would also like to hear what you find out in this regard!</p>

<p>Thanks for doing the legwork. Please let us know!</p>

<p>The Temple in Terre Haute is United Hebrew Congregation
540 S 6th St, Terre Haute, 47807 - (812) 232-5988. I talked to the secretary today, she sounded like a sweet southern belle (not Indiana- midwest sounding) She said that the congregation adopts these kids, they come for onegs, they teach in the school and in turn, the congregation has them for the holidays at their house. She said there aren't many, 5-10 kids and they find out about them by putting an ad in their paper or the parents calling and asking them to adopt their kids. She said it's a mutual "love affair" the kids never want to leave they've been pampered so much. She is sending me their synagogue bulletin, it's not on-line so I can't send it to the rest of you, but if you call her, you too can be on another list!!</p>

<p>Thank you so much for tracking this info down, fourkidsmom. I feel hopeful!</p>

<p>Let me start by telling you something about the Jewish community in Terre Haute. Terre Haute has had a Jewish community for over 150 years and continues to have one although it is smaller than it once was.
Currently, the congregation has about 50 family members almost all of whom are professionals and many are affiliated with the two local educational institutions: Rose-Hulman and Indiana State University. We have a beautiful synagogue building (built in 1912) located in the downtown area. Our members come from diverse Jewish backgrounds, and although we are affiliated with the Reform Jewish movement, we try to serve all of our congregants. We conduct weekly services, operate a small religious school, have a variety of social and adult education programs. We also have an outreach program to the Jewish students attending the local colleges. At this time, we do not have a full-time rabbi. However, we have a student rabbi who is assigned to us by Hebrew Union College and is with us for the High Holidays and every other week.
He leads services, conducts Torah study, visits shut-in members of the Jewish community, etc. Additionally, he is preparing two children for Bar/Bat Mitzvah and at least one person for conversion. </p>

<p>There are at least three Jewish faculty members at Rose-Hulman and, based on Rosh Hashanah attendance, at least eight Jewish students. In the past, Rose students have been very active in our congregation and have taught in our religious school, led services, blown shofar, read from the Torah, etc. The Jewish Culture Club at Rose is pretty much what the students want to make of it. It is designed to be open to both Jewish and non-Jewish students and, as I understand it, deals more with culture issues than religious issues. Indiana State University also has Jewish students, and perhaps more than Rose, but they tend to be somewhat less active. </p>

<p>I should mention that Terre Haute is about an hour from Indianapolis which has a variety of Jewish synagogues and organization. We are also about an hour from Indiana University which has a Hillel, Chabad, Jewish Studies Program, etc. </p>

<p>My general impression of Rose is that it attracts very bright students from all over the country who receive a good hands-on engineering education. While I have never had a bad interaction with a Rose student, I supposed you call them techies or even geeks. I know that there is close interaction between the faculty and students. The school is small and the campus is nice but compact which produces a climate of closeness among students and between faculty and students. Because of its work with the College of Business, I know that Rose is very much involved in helping new business get started from the technical end (ISU provides the business skills end). </p>

<p>I will be glad to answer any specific questions you may have and would be pleased to meet with you should you want to visit Terre Haute.</p>

<p>I am a Rose grad who was in the Jewish Culture Club while at Rose, regularly went to services at United Hebrew Congregation, and even taught Sunday school there.</p>

<p>The club was started to give the school an overt Jewish presence. Before the club, there was no real way to Jewish students to find each other and connect on campus. Also, a significant portion of campus was completely uneducated about anything Jewish as many are from small towns in the midwest with few or no Jews. Many of my non-Jewish friends were very eager to learn as many of their own traditions have their foundation in Jewish ones. While I was on campus, our Passover Seder was always well-attended.</p>

<p>The club is very much what the students make of it, within the confines of the "Culture" title. At the time of formation, the Rose SGA didn't fund religious, political, or professional clubs, so the club was formed as a cultural club to be eligible for funding and because many of our members (including officers) weren't even Jewish, but were interested in the cultural aspects. While I was on campus, we had events like a Simchat Torah book drive, Passover Seder, Hamentashen baking party for Purim, and field trip to a relevant speaker someplace nearby.</p>

<p>Beyond the club, I also had some holiday dinners at the homes of one of the Jewish professors. If he finds out you need a place to go for holidays, he will invite you.</p>

<p>So will the members of the synagogue in Terre Haute. I'm biased because I had a wonderful experience there, but I love the shul in Terre Haute. Everybody there is extremely friendly. It is a small community, which means that each member counts and everybody keeps track of everybody (in a good way, not a nosy way). I have been out of college several years, but I still keep in touch with people from the shul and am still reading the monthly newsletter. On the rare occasions when I make it back to Terre Haute, I always visit with at least some of the people from the shul.</p>

<p>Coming from a conservative background, services had a bit less Hebrew in them than I'm used to, but that didn't diminish them in any way. </p>

<p>I hope this helps anybody who is trying to determine the quality of the Jewish life in Terre Haute!</p>

<p>When I went to RHIT, there were at least two Jewish professors, one of which I know is still there. </p>

Rose seems to continue improve its student body, so I suspect they will continue to benefit from a growing Jewish presence on campus. Hopefully they can provide any accommodations that would make your student comfortable.

We had a son who attended Rose. He did go to services at United Hebrew Congregation which is a reform synagogue. Since he had his own car, he also was able to attend seders one year at Indiana University. We were lucky that several years Passover aligned with spring break. He did go and shop for Passover food (Indianapolis is an hour away) which we supplemented by sending kosher meals using an on line service. There is no Hillel on campus and you likely cannot make a minyan for services. If you come from a more religious background it can be challenging. That being said, while there were not many Jewish students at Rose it is a warm and welcoming atmosphere. You can make it work and he did!

Thanks for the information. I have an incoming freshman at Rose–we leave for orientation at the end of August. Is anyone currently at Rose who is part of the Jewish Culture Club and/or who attends United Hebrew Congregation?

Hi Lawyrmomof2: How did RHIT work out for your child? My son has been accepted and is definitely considering attending. We’re not orthodox, but I do hope my son can find some kind of jewish life at Rose. Did your son or daughter find any jewish life in Terre Haute?

So sorry, I only recently saw this. My son is now a sophomore and doing very well at Rose. He is the head of the Jewish Culture Club for this year. Did your son decide on Rose? If so, is he a freshman? Would love to connect!

So sorry, HeloDada. I just saw your post. Hope that your son decided on Rose. It’s been a great school for mine. He is head of the Jewish Culture Club this year, so if your son is there, I hope that he will check it out and meet my son. He’s a great kid. Let me know…

Just wanted to bump this very helpful thread. As I’ve mentioned elsewhere, DD is Jewish, and very interested in Rose.