Reflections on Jewish Life at Georgetown

photo of Derek Tassone

Derek Tassone (C’22)

Some may think it’s difficult to see Georgetown, a Jesuit institution, as a bastion of Judaism. But counterintuitively, that’s what it’s been for me.

I come from a dual-background household. My father is Catholic, and my mother is Jewish. Because of this fundamental divergence, there existed an understanding in my family: my brother and I would be raised with a belief in theism, but that’d be the full extent of our religiosity.

As I grew up, I identified more and more with the Jewish aspects of myself, and with the Jewish members of my family. This led me to hope that at college, the place where people go to find themselves, that I would be able to find my Judaism. And because of Jewish Life here at Georgetown, I have been able to do just that.

Jewish Life has been as receptive and inviting as I could have imagined. We consist of people of all backgrounds, and in this diversity our community finds its strength. This diversity allows me to explore the various intricacies of Judaism and Jewish life, and the numerous and incredible opportunities available to help me in this endeavor have been nothing short of a blessing.

I have the opportunity to attend Friday night Shabbat services, which are always the highlight of my week as I have the chance to unwind and leave the emptiness of the workweek for the sacredness of the Sabbath. I have the opportunity to live in Bayit, our Jewish Living Learning Community, so that on a Catholic campus I can for the first time live in a Jewish community. And I have the opportunity to take Jewish Civilization classes (even one with Rabbi Rachel!), so I can utilize the incredible resources of Georgetown to better understand my identity.

Georgetown has helped me find my Judaism, and it can do the same for anyone. I couldn’t be happier.

by Derek Tassone (C’22)