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The Student News Site of Arcata High School

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The Pepperbox

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Jewish Student Union

“[Our goal] is to provide a safe space for other students on campus and also to spread awareness about the culture and the religion,”
Left+to+right%3A+Sophia+Griffin%2C+Elana+Griffin%2C+Dinah+Sullivan%2C+Nova+Baur.
Ell Franklin
Left to right: Sophia Griffin, Elana Griffin, Dinah Sullivan, Nova Baur.

Every Thursday, the Jewish Student Union (JSU) meets in Jason Sidell’s room, 801, also known as the Co-Lab.

According to the founder and president of the JSU, senior Elana Griffin, the club’s purpose is “to bring community for Jewish students at school.” She mentioned this is especially important because of the anti-semitism on campus. 

“There’s a lot of swastikas drawn around school. There’s a lot of people hailing Hitler. There’s a lot of that general stuff,”  Elana Griffin said. She added that the JSU is a place, “you can go if you’re not comfortable dealing with that stuff on your own because it should be spoken about.” 

Sophia Griffin, another senior and a member of the JSU, had a similar sentiment, “There’s a lot of antisemitism in the world. It’s important to see yourself represented and to have a place where you can bring concerns and address any issues that might come up.”

 Elana Griffin talked about what goes on in the club. “Together, we talk. It’s not a lot of lecturing. It’s a lot of talking about what we do for certain things and what our families do, and just being open,” she said. 

This year, Elana Griffin wants the JSU to get more involved. One of her ideas for expanding the presence of the club on campus is “making some things to put in the bulletin.”

Sophia Griffin mentioned that JSU has recently been cooperating with other diversity clubs to create a mural on the Cal Poly Humboldt campus. “[The mural] highlights the diversity and minority groups at the school, so we’re working with them to tell them how we want to be represented in the mural,” she said. 

“[Our goal] is to provide a safe space for other students on campus and also to spread awareness about the culture and the religion,” Sophia Griffin said. 

Hanukkah is an eight-day celebration reaffirming the ideals of Judaism, and the commemoration of commemorating the rededication of the second temple of Jerusalem is approaching, starting on the seventh day of December and ending on the 15th. Sofia Griffin shared some of the things she does to celebrate.

 “My family, we have a menorah. We like to light it every night. And we add candles every night until it’s over, we like to read stories about Hanukkah and or we play Dreidel, and sometimes I’ll go to Temple Bethel in Eureka to some of their celebrations,” she said.

“I don’t have a super big Jewish community and I’ve just kind of grown up with some of the traditions and not really the full experience. So, for me personally, connecting with other people in the community has been really cool because I’ve never had that before. And just like meeting other people who have the same traditions as me and say like stories and it’s great,” Sophia Griffin said in regards to her favorite thing about the JSU

 According to Elana Griffin, she wants the club to do something school-oriented, “I think it’d be good just something for the school. But also I want to do something with the students in the club, maybe something like [going to] my house [and] making some food?” 

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About the Contributor
Ell Franklin, Feature Editor
Ell Franklin can drive a stick shift car (self-taught). She has read over 34 books in eight months and hates sports. Seriously, she doesn't think it is cool at all, stop it right now. She has all her baby teeth in a small wooden box and will show you if you ask her. She has been obsessed with Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings ever since reading it when she was eleven. She thinks that minimalism and open-concept house plans are dumb. Nooks and crannies are the bomb.com. She thinks that Joan of Arc and her are spiritually connected (is delusional).
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