Wellesley Welcomes a Jewish Shared Identity Group

November 16, 2018
A group of Wellesley alumnae pose for a photo on a rooftop.

The Wellesley College Alumnae Association (WCAA) has formed a new shared identity group (SIG), Wellesley Jewish Alumnae (WJA), whose members will have opportunities to connect and engage with each other through online and in-person programs that reflect their shared experiences.

WJA is an important addition to Wellesley’s family of SIGs, said Dolores Arredondo ’95, board member of the WCAA and former president of the Wellesley Latina Alumnae Network (WLAN). “It has been wonderful to see the growth of SIGs in recent years and in the meaningful way they help engage alumnae,” she said. “SIGs are a reflection of WCAA’s commitment to diversity and inclusion.”

WJA will join four other Wellesley SIGs:

Wellesley Alumnae of African Descent (WAAD)

Wellesley Latina Alumnae Network (WLAN)

Wellesley Asian Alumnae Alliance (W3A)

Wellesley Alum Pride Alliance (WAPA)

WJA is the culmination of collaborative efforts of leaders in the Jewish alumnae community, the Office for Religious and Spiritual Life, and the Alumnae Association. The group represents a wide range of Jewish beliefs, observance, and definitions—it is a diverse, multigenerational community that offers a thriving, supportive environment for Jewish alumnae of all denominations and affiliations, aligned with the College’s commitment to represent the broad spectrum of Jewish life.

WJA will sponsor programs such as Shabbat Across the Miles, during which alumnae in various cities will meet on the same night for Shabbat-related activities. It will also reach out to Jewish students on campus through the College rabbi, Dena Bodian. WJA has an interim board for now, of which Leah Kaplan ’02 is the president. Elections will be held in the spring.

Arredondo said SIGs collaborate with the College to promote and celebrate diversity. Members of WLAN, for example, call Spanish-speaking families of students who have been accepted to Wellesley to congratulate them and answer questions. WAAD worked with College partners to host the Ethos 50th anniversary celebration in the spring. This summer, WAPA worked with WCAA to support Wellesley marchers in Pride parades across the country.

Photo: Wellesley alums taking part in Shabbat Across the Miles (SAM), when alumnae around the world get together on the same day to create connections among Jewish alums and help strengthen ties among alums that live near each other.