One of the many lessons RJX (Rutgers Learning Network) has taught me is that every individual is brought into this world to actualize his/her unique potential. The beauty of this advice is that the RJX staff that teaches this lesson is living it with vigor every single day. The entire RJX staff make it their mission to connect with university students that are searching for answers. The staff cares deeply about each student and about developing his/her Jewish identity and commitment to Israel. This genuine truth and caring touches a very unique place in an RJX student's heart and compels him/her to never be complacent but rather to embrace his/her heritage and be a future Jewish leader.
Four years ago I started going to classes with the RLN (aka Rutgers Jewish Experience) to learn more about my heritage, to find a connection to Judaism that I had mostly lost since going to graduate school, and out of curiosity to see what centuries-old traditions and wisdom could teach me and how they could enrich my life. I had no idea how deeply it would affect me. It's introduced me to a lifestyle centered around community, education, and personal growth; it's helped me find a community of people who truly care about and support each other that extends around the world; it's given me guidance in addressing character traits of mine that were hurting my relationships with others, improving my family, social, and academic life; it's presented intellectual challenges that forced me to think about who I am and what I believe and to make knowledgeable and deliberate decisions about how to live my life, and given me a foundation to do that. Hands down, RLN has changed my life.
The RLN has had special success in creating personal and lasting relationships with Jewish students on the campus of Rutgers University. The organization offers a series of educational classes, short day-trips within the NY/NJ area and Shabbaton experiences in nearby Jewish communities. Perhaps most importantly, they provide a network that Jewish students on campus can tap into and feel at home. The organization has sent a significant amount of Jewish students to Israel on educational/recreational trips that are significantly subsidized and have provided the inspiration for tens of students to pursue long-term study in both Israel and the U.S. Many people have been seeing the fruits of their labors and their continued work is vital to the Jewish people as a whole.
Rutgers Learning Network (AKA RJX) is a phenomenal organization that is slowly but surely changing the face of campus life at Rutgers University. Among some of their more frequent activities: lectures, one-on-one learning sessions, shabbatons, communal shabbos dinners and of course much more. The professionals that lead this organization are able to relate to students and offer a fresh perspective on how to face modern challenges using the wisdom of the Sages. I am a big fan of their work and wish them a tremendous amount of success.
RJX really helped me learn so much more about my personal Jewish background, Judaism in general, and Israel. Oh, Israel... The 3 weeks I had the opportunity to spend there with and thanks to RJX were fun, informative, and spiritually uplifting, to say the least. I feel so lucky to have been able to go through the Rutgers Jewish Experience and I hope others will take advantage of the incredible opportunity RJX offers college students to have fun, meet and chat with some great people, and discover a little (or a lot) more about themselves.