Students Trade Winter Break for Jewish Experience

For the past four years, graduate student Kelly Scovone has vacationed in Key Largo, Fla., during her mid-winter break. She settles in an oceanfront condo with full amenities, a 15-minute drive to a deep water marina that features snorkeling, scuba diving, and water skiing. But although there are boundless opportunities for adventure right at her fingertips, she barely ventures into the great outdoors at all.

As a participant at Snorkel and Study, a women’s learning retreat geared to university students and young professionals who want to delve into exploring their Jewish identities, Scovone becomes so absorbed by her Torah classes and newfound friends that time flies by.

“You are put in a position where you are meeting young women from all over the world,” says Scovone, who first heard about the program through Sashi Friedman, co-director of the Chabad-Lubavitch Jewish Student Center serving Florida International University. “There are women from all over America, and a handful from France and South America. There are women from all kinds of Jewish backgrounds and affiliations. Some are just starting their journey and have never lit Sabbath candles. Others are veterans.”


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