The religious community on campus is diverse in culture and beliefs, including that of Judaism. However, there is no local place of worship for these students.
Noah Levine, a junior triple-major in art, biology, and communication, said that at one time there was a Jewish population in Stevens Point.
“There used to be a synagogue here in Point. I’m not too sure what happened, but for some reason the Jewish community headed over to Wausau and the synagogue followed them there,” Levine said.
Levine mentioned that the former synagogue is now used as a Jewish museum and that it shows the past strong Jewish community of Stevens Point.
Levine is one of the few Jewish students on campus and takes pride in his Jewish identity.
“It makes me different. It gives me something that very few people here have any experience with, and I enjoy that,” Levine said.
Although Levine takes a lot of pride in being Jewish, he doesn’t confess to be the most religious person. When he refers to himself as a Jew, he mainly means his ancestry. Although he does go to synagogue, his family can be traced back to one of the two remaining tribes of Judaea, Levi.
“I’ve never been too religious in the way of going to synagogue, so I haven’t been affected too much. I’ve told myself that if there was a closer synagogue, I’d go to it more often,” Levine said.
Levine has even considered starting his own club on campus.
“I’ve thought about making a Jewish club or something, but I honestly don’t know if there is enough interest in one to actually get it going,” Levine said.
Coming from Saint Paul, Minnesota, the transition was much easier to deal with because the Jewish population was also small. However, he still struggled at first in Stevens Point.
“I hated Point when I got here, but it grew on me eventually. The Jewish population where I was raised was so small, so the Jewish transition wasn’t a big deal,” Levine said.