Kedma is the Orthodox Jewish community at the University of Maryland. Aside from being one of the largest college communities in America, we pride ourselves on being warm, open, diverse, and vibrant. Here in College Park, Kedma is able to provide all of the necessary ingredients to furthering the Jewish lifestyle within the framework of a secular university.
For starters, we offer and ensure the continuity of at least three Minyanim and, through Hillel, three Kosher meals every day.
Our Shabbatot then take it all to the next level. We start off Friday night with two Kabbalat Shabbat services: one Carlebach (for the musical ones among us), one not. We then proceed to spectacular dinners either at Hillel or in one of the many kosher apartments all across campus. These meals offer everyone a chance to relax from their long weeks and just have a good time. Post-dinner, you're sure to find a number of lively onegs and tisches to be a part of. Shabbat day is simply a pleasure, what with meaningful Shacharits, large kiddushes, Lunch n' Learns, two options for Mincha, Seudah Shelishit, and the leisure of being able to just relax on the beautiful McKeldin Mall. This glorious day ends with Ma'ariv and a large, communal, and melodious Havdalah.
Learning opportunities are abound with a wide variety of classes and Shiurim, with everything from Women's Beit Midrash to the Maryland Kollel Program. We are privileged to have Rabbi and Rebbetzin Ari and Shira Neuman living in College Park and available full-time as teachers and mentors.
Socially, we plan many events, including chag-orientated gatherings, special Seudot Shlishit, date auctions, game show nights, carnivals, concerts, and much more. With those and the myriad of other events run by the 40+ Hillel organizations, our social calendars are always full.
Lastly, we represent and put forth the Orthodox community's needs to Hillel and to the University. We work to ensure that students can keep their level of observance within a secular university, while still being a part of the larger campus community.
About the Neumans Rabbi Ari Neuman began his academic career majoring in Psychology at Yeshiva University, went on to receive an MA in Medieval Jewish History from Yeshiva University’s Bernard Revel Graduate School and his ordination from RIETS. As part of his rabbinical training at YU, Ari worked with the Jewish community in Highland Park, NJ as the NCSY City Director, served as a summer rabbinic intern at the Riverdale Jewish Center and served as a rabbinic intern at the Young Israel of Plainview.
Ari has been very involved with both the CJF and NCSY over the years. Before becoming the City Director in Highland Park, he was an advisor for Upstate NY NCSY for four years, which is where he met Shira. He also traveled to Israel on two CJF missions, studied in the CJF’s Beth Jacob kollel in Los Angeles for two summers and participated in Torah Tours seven times visiting communities in Binghamton, Las Vegas, San Francisco, Memphis, Atlanta, Toronto, and Wynnewood.
Shira Neuman graduated with a BA in Psychology from Stern College for Women and holds a Master’s degree in Jewish Education from the Azrieli Graduate School of Jewish Education and Administration. She has been a longtime informal educator in roles such as Unit Head in Camp Shalom in Old Tappan, NJ, NCSY advisor in Upstate New York, and NCSY City Director in Highland Park, NJ.