There are those moments in everyone’s life that you now you will remember forever. I knew this was one of those moments as I stood there reciting the Pledge of Allegiance at the Yom Ha’Shoah Commemoration sitting by some of my fellow classmates and surrounded by many of the Jewish members of the Rockland community. There were about eight men on stage who were all Jewish War Veterans. It was a beautiful moment that turned into an emotional evening as we celebrated many survivors of the Holocaust. For me, as I am not Jewish it was a very unique experience to partake in their celebration and also remembrance of many who did not survive. The chance to meet survivors and hear their stories in person is something my children will not have the chance to do. I feel incredibly blessed for the amazing opportunities I have had this semester to learn more about the Holocaust, meet survivors, and become more informed on different Jewish traditions and ways of life.
Through this and some other experiences this past weekend I have really come to appreciate the different and varying opportunities I have at Nyack College to learn and be a part of other cultural settings. Like I said I have had many opportunities recently to learn about the Holocaust and Jewish culture this past month. It is something that I have always been interested in and have had the chance to learn more through my Global Literature class. We read a book about it tittles ‘None of Us Will Return’, and then visited a Holocaust museum just down the road from Nyack. I continue on in my journey to become even more educated about such things and what can be done to avoid anything like this in the future.
Another cultural experience I was able to be involved in was a field trip to a Spanish-speaking church with my Spanish class. There was a large group of us that went, but we were welcomed with open arms and loving embraces. The people at the church were so kind and hospitable. My teacher actually preached and afterwards we stayed and shared a meal with the congregation. It was a great chance to practice a little Spanish and get to experience a rich and beautiful culture.
These are just two or three experiences I have had over the past month here at Nyack , but there are vast numbers of ways to experience other cultures here. Even just staying on campus I have cultural experiences every day as people from all over the globe make up the community of Nyack College. Then there are many ways off campus as well, living in one of the most diverse places in the world it seems silly not to take every chance I get. Different cultures show God’s creativity and love for all people and I love taking advantage of every opportunity to experience such things.