I think that it’s not really acknowledged or talked about or understood or even attempted to be understood, at least during the time I was there, by the [Davidson] students that Jewishness is not only a religion. It’s also a diasporic ethnicity and a culture, not just a culture, but variations within a culture. So in that respect, I didn’t feel all that included.
Ellie Diamant is an alumna of Davidson College, who graduated from the class of 2015 with a bachelor’s degree in Biology. She was the president of Hillel at Davidson College in 2013. Post-graduation from Davidson College, Diamant received her master’s degree in Conservation Biology at Columbia University and her PhD in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at University of California, Los Angeles.
Summary: Ellie Diamant recounts what her Jewish background was like before Davidson College and how she came to Davidson, including what she knew about Jewish life and perceptions that those at home had of Davidson College. She talks about her involvement in Jewish student life and tells stories about navigating her Jewish identity and educating others about Jewishness, as a student and a leader. Diamant points out the diversity within Jewish identities and emphasizes her cultural, rather than religious, relationship to Jewishness and how that shaped her experience and identity formation at Davidson. She also lists out community members who she found support from. Diamant describes microaggressions that occurred and provides a critique of and suggestions for Davidson as an institution moving forward, in response to her time at Davidson, the November 2018 neo-Nazi doxxing, and contemporary student activism for Jewish Studies.