10 Elul 5776
by Lori and Matt Griffin
Dropping a child off at college for the first time can be very overwhelming, for both child and parent. In our case, it was much harder on the parents. We just moved our eldest child into the dorms at UC Berkeley on August 20th. There was so much excitement and adventure in the air as we carried our daughter’s belongings up several flights of stairs to move her in and meet her roommates. Our daughter needed little help as she is very independent, organized and wanted to do things her way. This didn’t surprise us as we watched her set her room up and then run off with her new roommates.
We know our daughter is more than prepared academically to handle the rigor of college. What every parent worries about are the peers that their child decides to “hang” with while away and hope they make the right decisions. We feel so blessed that both of our children have literally grown up at TBS and have such a deep rooted sense of their Jewish identity. In researching universities and traveling to visit them, our daughter insisted that we always visit the Hillel house so that she could gain a sense of what Jewish life was like on campus. Once she decided that Cal was the school for her, she immediately signed up for their Hillel and has already been to some local events they held over the summer. She actually knows quite a few of the students already in Hillel from her many years of attending camp Hilltop as a camper and most recently as staff. There are even some students that she knows from her trip to Israel two summers ago that she gets to reconnect with. Matthew and I also have a deep connection to Hillel as we met and fell in love while we were members of Hillel back in our college days.
With this sense of confidence in her Jewish identity and already having a “family” with Hillel, it made it a little easier for us to say goodbye to her. As a matter of fact, we actually said our goodbyes at the Hillel house as she was busy talking and laughing with new and old friends. The values and sense of community that she learned from her preschool days through her confirmation days at TBS were evident as we said goodbye. We have so much to be thankful for as the New Year approaches. We are thankful for our children, for our family and for our TBS community. They say it takes a village to raise a child. In our case, it takes a temple.