Audrey's Top Ten Things I Love About the KOACH Website
#10 -- The part of the resources section that makes my parents happy, and that can make your parents happy too.
Because KOACH is filled with infinitely wise people, many of them who are parents themselves, there are areas devoted to how your congregation and even your parents can make the most of your college years. Sound strange? Well, lots of times our wonderful Moms, Dads, and assorted branches of synagogues don't really know what we need. (I know, shock.) There are lots of litmus-test-ish links to help them figure out how to be there for us, without actually being there with us. If you haven't told your family -- biological or congregational -- about www.koach.org, do so!
#9 -- The "keeping kosher" how-to handbook.
I'm in New York, which has more and better kosher food than anywhere on earth besides Jerusalem or Teaneck, so it's true that this isn't so important to me... but it's amazing how I take it for granted, because most schools don't have an entire kosher universe around them! This guide makes it easy to figure out not just HOW to keep kosher, but WHY -- as in, why should you do it, why do Jews do it, what's God's involvement in all of this anyway, etc.
#8 -- The photo albums!
While I won't talk about myself (yet)... let's get honest. These photo albums are the best way to make you realize how much KOACH rocks. All these cool Jewish kids doing cool Jewish things... did I mention how attractive we are? : ) Seriously, it makes me realize how lucky I am to have gone to Kallah, and how much I want to staff a Birthright Israel trip. Look at the pictures and you'll KNOW what I mean!
#7 and #6 -- Speaking of Kallah and Birthright Israel...
KOACH does so much more than send you emails. KOACH is everywhere, including Israel. If you haven't been yet, GO. The amazing articles that have been in the e-zine about Birthright, and the beautiful photographs in the album, should be enough to convince you... but if you want to know more, go to cnn.com (or any other highly biased news source, your call) and realize why Israel needs us now more than ever. Kallah is another opportunity to connect with bright Jewish minds from around the country. There's something that is unexplainable and magic and phenomenal about meeting people from everywhere, and connecting with them on a more than Jewish geography level. (In other words, once you've figured out who you know in common, realizing that you know each other in common -- the differences only add to the amazement.)
#5 -- The holiday / Shabbat section.
I'm a Hebrew School teacher so I'm a glutton for good Jewish resources... and let me just say, this site hyperlinks you to everywhere! You can learn when to light Shabbat candles on your campus, and how to do more than light them alone in your room, where they probably aren't allowed anyway... you can have a virtual shiur and pick up helpful hints about Passover that will make even the most boring seder sparkling... from fun facts to original sources, you've got it all at your fingertips. We're so lucky -- KOACH has done all the hard work for us!
#4 -- The Mercaz section.
Mercaz bills itself as "the voice of American Conservative Jews for Israel" but really Mercaz is more than that. Mercaz is our future. I apologize for sounding uber-cheesy, but it's true. If we, as the young Conservative community, do not stand behind our Zionist ideals today, there won't be an Israel for our children. Mercaz has concrete ways to make Israel a priority in the eyes of everyone in the world, and it's easy to be a part of making change happen.
#3 -- The bring-Elyse-and-Rich-to-your-campus section.
I'll pretend we're being formal and call it "Visit from a KOACH Faculty Member" but the truth is, sometimes you need a little outside help to jumpstart your programs. Perhaps you've already managed to rack up a community that rocks and you want to offer a special event. Maybe you need to rejuvenate your once-loud-and-proud, now dead quiet, campus environment. Well, KOACH SAVES THE DAY as usual! You can arrange to have a Shabbaton filled with everything from good kosher food to good kosher conversation, and Koach will help you by providing the holders of brilliance of Conservative Judaism. What more could you want?
#2 -- The links.
I'm an internet nerd. I don't lie. It's ironic, since I'm 22 and still use AOL for most of my computing, but it's true. And when you look at all the links, you'll be dazzled by how many things there are to do that further the goals of KOACH. You want to help build a better world? Done. You want to go to Israel? Done. You want to study Torah via email, learn about being a rabbi, visit Jewish Latin America, go to Camp Ramah, get Israel updates direct from the source? Done, done, done! We have the directions to get you onto the Jewish Information Superhighway.
and the thing I LOVE BEST about the KOACH WEBSITE...
#1 -- the extremely flattering photograph of ME! C'mon, we're all about honesty here at KOACH, and we all know I don't really look that good. But in all seriousness, I love what the photo represents. I love being the editor of the e-zine because it gives me a good excuse to look for all the news (read: gossip) on all the campuses that KOC reaches, which is TONS, and I enjoy the chance to get to email and talk to lots of new, different people. So check out my hot photograph and email me and write for us too!
Have a beautiful summer, Audrey : )