Club Chai becomes Jewish Student Union


Alexis Perno

Standing in front of club members, guest speaker Daniel Nabatian discusses the importance of Jewish students connecting to their roots. The meeting revealed that Club Chai would be changing its name to the Jewish Student Union Jan. 16.

Alexis Perno, News Editor

The first official Jewish Student Union meeting was Wednesday, Jan. 16 afterschool in Spanish teacher Karen Rosin’s room.  

At the meeting, it was revealed that Club Chai would be changing to Jewish Student Union, a program affiliated with national Jewish youth organization NCSY. Freshman Ari Dolgin, who has attended the meetings before, said he came back again to learn more about his faith.  

“The thing is, there’s a lot of people in the world who think that they’re always superior and that everyone else is nothing, but the thing is that’s not true,” Dolgin said. “Everyone should be equal, and the thing is that this is a Christian majority school, and I feel like other people in other religions would be left out if they didn’t have their own club.” 

Club Chai was a space for Jewish students at school to meet, but since changing over to be the Plant JSU chapter, sophomore president Carol Kornworcel aims to get students involved with the Jewish community instead of just limiting them to school, she said.  

“Judaism is kind of who I am,” Kornworcel said. “Anything I do in my life, any decisions I make, anything I really decide to start up, I try connecting it or following Jewish morals I guess you can say, so coming to Plant obviously was a big difference considering I came from a Jewish school to public. Once I was able to open this here at Plant, I was pretty amazed how many people I knew that were Jewish, so that was a really good way to kind of connect because I know other students have been having to go through that.” 

A representative from the Orlando Jewish Outreach Initiative, Daniel Nabatian, spoke at the meeting and discussed the purpose of bringing JSUs to students.  

“A lot of times there are preconceived notions or people think a lot of things about Jewish people, Jewish culture in general,” said Nabatian, who has been working with JSUs for five years. “I feel like it’s important for people who are Jewish to connect to their roots and explore a little more about Judaism and for people who are not Jewish to come here, learn about another culture and become more understanding of another culture.” 

Students can expect to learn more about Judaism and get involved with political movements, sophomore publicity officer Chloe Mezrah said.  

“It makes me feel actually kind of proud of this school,” Mezrah said. “It’s not only Christianity here because there’s some Jewish kids here, too, there’s some atheists here, too, there’s also some Hindus and Buddhists. It just shows that it involves other kids.” 

Regardless of religious identity, all students are encouraged to come participate in JSU. 

“I love it because it means we have a great diversity of children and it makes me feel like we’re including everyone and that makes me feel great because I don’t want anyone feeling excluded,” senior Ambar Zahira said.