For my first religious site visit I went to the Asbell Center on Friday, February 17th. I decided to visit the Asbell Center because I am Christian and was interested in how a Jewish service was conducted. I did not know many Jewish people before coming to Dickinson and my only Jewish experiences prior to this visit were a few Barmitzvah’s.
There were other students at the Asbell Center when I arrived and the usual members were surprised to see so many people there. The leader of the service had to get out more hymn books and chairs so that everyone could fit. The congregation was very receptive to all of us students. All of the congregation and visitors introduced themselves and the service started. It was more relaxed then I thought it was going to be. People talked openly during the service and it was very different then the kind of religious ceremony I was used to at my church. There were lots of songs during the service and it was translated in the back of the hymn book. The members of the usual congregation helped us find the right page where the translation was so that we could read or sing a long. There were a few different discussions during the service where people people could voice opinions and ask questions. It was a lot different from church for me because I am used to a larger congregation where everything is posted in a bulletin so people can follow a long. It was not that much different in the way the congregation discussed issues about life except that Jesus was not mentioned and mostof the hymns were in hebrew.