Holidays Without Family

During my first year at Grinnell, going home for the Jewish holidays at the end of September wasn’t an option, so I attended the student-led Rosh Hashanah services in Main Hall and felt homesick for the first time since I arrived on campus. Instead of spending the afternoon and evening enjoying home-cooked, traditional holiday foods with family and friends, I was bored and lonely in my third-floor Dibble Hall dorm room. Around dinner time, there was a knock on my door. It was my student adviser, Catherine Carter ’94, accompanied by all of my floor mates.

They couldn’t imagine being away from their families on one of their most important religious holidays, and they didn’t want me to spend my holiday alone. The entire floor was taking me out for a Rosh Hashanah dinner at Pagliai’s Pizza! It wasn’t home-cooked, it wasn’t traditional — of course, it wasn’t even kosher! — but it was perfect. And, that was when I realized I had made the right college choice — I was exactly where I belonged.

Rachel Erlich Kamin ’96
Lake Zurich, Ill.
How or when did you know Grinnell was “home” for you?