Social, Academic and Artistic Events

Explore the social and academic events we have hosted in the past. The events hosted in any given year may change at the discretion of the WCJA board.

Parties and Gatherings

Interfaith Gatherings

  • Approximately once a semester, we invite another faith group to cook and eat dinner with us in the JRC, including the Muslim Ephs and The Feast

Holiday Parties

  • We typically host one party per semester associated with a Jewish holiday, open to all Williams students

New-B-Que BBQ

  • Our annual event to welcome first-year students to Williams and WCJA

WCJA Wednesdays

  • Monthly themed informal gatherings that come before board meetings, including Challah-ween, Sundaes in the Sukkah, February Freeze, etc.

Homecoming Havdallah Cocktail Party

  • Open to all alumni and students

Challah/Hamantaschen Baking

The Latke-Hamantaschen Debate
  • A fun, relaxing way to cook (and eat!) some delicious food

The Great Latke-Hamentaschen Debate

  • To coincide with Purim, we host a debate between four faculty over which is better: the latke or the hamentaschen.

Art Exhibitions at the JRC

The JRC provides a location for local artists to display their work. The art shown in the JRC comments on Judaic themes and is open to the larger community for viewing. All art exhibitions are kicked off with a discussion with the artist, and the art remains on display for a month or more for students and visitors to enjoy. The goal of bringing art to the JRC is to provide another dimension through which students can engage with Judaism on campus. Past art exhibits have included:

Lawrence Salzmann, “Turkey’s Jews Revisited”

Alan Falk, “Between Two Worlds”

Service Events

Monthly Blood Drive

  • WCJA co-hosts a blood drive with the Red Cross for the entire Williamstown community

Hanukkah Book Drive

  • WCJA donated and wrapped books for elementary school students at Brayton Elementary. When donating books, WCJA members also taught Brayton students about the holiday of Hanukkah.

Lectures and Academic Discussions

Below are some lectures and discussions WCJA has hosted in the past.  

“Faith and Food: Sustainable Food in Light of Islamic and Jewish Traditions,” a panel discussion with Dawood Yasin, Rabbi Natan Margalit, and Patrick Benson

“Sacred Music, Ecstatic Improvisation,” a klezmer workshop with Grammy Award winning artist, Frank London

“Memories of the Holocaust in Modern Media,” a discussion with Professor Emeritus of Art History Eva Grudin

“The Jewish Afterlife,”  a lecture by Rabbi Goldwasser (cosponsored with InterFaith)

New-B-Que, start-of-the-year barbecue

“Soul to Soul: Yiddish and African American Music Meet in a Celebration of Two Cultures,” a show conceived and performed by Zalmen Mlotek

“Ecology in Song: Jewish Music for the Earth,” a lecture by Robert Cohen

Screening of “Trembling Before God,” followed by a conversation with director Sandi DuBowski

Trip to see Frank London’s “A Night at the Old Marketplace,” a multimedia ghost story opera at MassMOCA

“Evangelicals and Israel: The Story of Christian Zionism,” a lecture by Professor Steven Spector

Williams-Amherst Birthright Trip


We also have many students who choose to participate on the Williams-Amherst Birthright Trips, where students take a free trip to Israel and learn about Israel and Judaism.

While the Birthright trip is not affiliated with the Williams College Jewish Association, we help promote the trip as another way students can engage with Judaism at Williams and beyond.