Club Profile: Sephardic Club

By: Rivka Inger  |  February 19, 2024

By Rivka Inger, Senior Features Editor

Each month, the YU Observer aims to highlight one club available to the YU undergraduate community. For the February 2024 edition, the YU Observer is highlighting the Sephardic Club.

Club Name: Sephardic Club

Head(s): Sara Elyassian and Gilad Menashe

Relevant Campus(es): Wilf and Beren

What is your club’s mission statement? To create meaningful and inspiring events for the Sephardic community, and of course the greater YU community as a whole. We try to include everyone in our events and like to have a diverse crowd. We have these events for the sole purpose of inspiring people, and to help them connect and really have an enjoyable time on campus, whether it be a Shabbaton or a guest speaker from America or Israel.

Why is this club important? Sara: Because there needs to be a safe haven for Sephardic students on campus. I’ve been working this year as president to bridge the gap between Ashkenazi communities and Sephardi ones, since we don’t want to create a divide, but rather a safe haven. Most minyanim here are Ashkenazi and so are most Rebbeim, and we really try to help a little extra to bring our light into the community.

What inspired you to get involved in/start the club? Sara: I’m Iranian and first-generation American. Both of my parents were born in Tehran and spent their teenage years in Iran, and I have very very strong Persian roots and I’m really passionate about my heritage.

What are some plans you have for this semester/future semesters? On the women’s campus we’re bringing in Rabbi Beni Rofeh once a month to talk about happiness and Torah. We had our first one just last week and girls loved it! We’re also planning a pre-Purim bash, and we also have an off-campus Shabbaton every year.

What is your advice to someone looking to get involved on campus? Don’t be afraid to ask for help. You can ask upperclassmen how to get involved, and be sure to always go the extra mile and try new things because before you know it you’ll lose the opportunity. The Office of Student Life is always there to help you find a solution to a problem if you don’t think that something will work, they’re very accommodating!

Anything else to say about your club: We hope to continue to expand the club to the greater YU community and make a positive impact on YU students.