*Update: This fall Elaine will begin her masters program in medical anthropology at Boston University! Congratulations Elaine!
Elaine Gay is one of CSU Hillel’s senior leadership members. Entering her final year on campus Elaine is looking forward to working with the Hillel house by continuing to help plan events, cook Shabbat meals and any other activities when needed.
Elaine is a double major in History and Anthropology with an English minor. She’s currently studying for the GRE (Graduate Records Examination) in hopes of continuing her education. Originally from Austin, Texas, Elaine made her way to CSU to expand her horizons and grow as an individual. Part of that internal growth happened once she started coming to CSU Hillel.
“I felt a Jewish presence lacking in my life, so the summer before my junior year I saw Hillel had a few internships open so I decided to apply for one and soon after I got the job. Since then I have been at CSU Hillel. I love it.” said Elaine.
Part of why Elaine felt a lack of Judaism in her life was due to where she grew up.
“I wasn’t really involved with the Jewish community back home or here. I did some camp counselor stuff once but that wasn’t much. I started coming to Hillel and cooking meals among other things and it all fell into place. Soon I become friends with the girls at Sigma Alpha Epsilon Pi (the Jewish sorority) and currently serve as the organization’s vice president,” she added.
After being an active member of CSU Hillel for over a year Elaine has a better perspective on looking back on what makes CSU Hillel so welcoming for students no matter how they identify as Jews.
“By being apart of Hillel it has given me a stronger Jewish identity I didn’t have before. Plus, our Hillel provides the space for a wonderful, warm welcoming family feeling, and acts as a safe space for conversations about Judaism and Israel or anything along those lines, said Elaine.
Outside of her leadership duties at CSU Hillel, Elaine likes to take time for her hobbies. She plays the guitar in her spare time and enjoys writing music and stories too. Elaine, whose mother is deaf in one ear, has gone on to learn American Sign Language (ASL) to better communicate with her mother. And back home in Austin her family has three adorable dogs; Melu, Tibet and Juno.
CSU Hillel serves as an important bridge from the Jewish kid world to the Jewish adult world. We empower students to become leaders, and provide a warm and welcoming home-away-from-home for every student. Additionally, at CSU Hillel we take pride in cultivating a strong community with our weekly shabbats, sustainability projects and community mitzvahs around Fort Collins, as well as, helping our students learn about Judaism and Israel in whatever capacity most comfortable to them. To learn more about CSU Hillel visit our website and make sure to follow us on social media on Facebook at CSU Hillel and Twitter @CSUHillel.