Our second "Walker Spotlight" story is about Kelly Kossar, a Rabbinical student at Hebrew College. Kelly moved to Barton House three years ago, and when the Barton Interfaith Leadership Program began in 2017, she immediately took on a leadership role as the first Barton Fellow. She is still serving in that role, via organizing potlucks, bringing in speakers, and creating opportunities for interfaith dialogue in the house.
Kelly says living in Barton helps her grow personally and spiritually because it exposes her to non-Jewish people of faith. While at school, Kelly is surrounded mostly by people who are Jewish, simply because of the nature of her ordination program. In her Barton House community, however, she is given the chance to interact with people of other faiths. "For me it’s been really healthy to live in a community that’s not [only] Jewish," she said. "It’s a taste of the real world, because the real world is not all [one religion] - it’s interfaith.“
"For me it’s been really healthy to live in a community that’s not [only] Jewish. It’s a taste of the real world, because the real world is not all [one religion] - it’s interfaith."
The connections she’s made here have inspired her. “This place attracts people that really want to make a difference and leave some lasting impact for good on the world," she said. "Everyone I’ve met in the house is going to change the world in some way.”
After living in an ecumenical setting, Kelly has decided to apply to chaplaincy programs that will teach her how to minister to people of all faiths and backgrounds - not just those who identify as Jewish. Living at the Walker Center has been integral to this career decision. We are so excited to see the communities of light Kelly will create and nurture as a rabbi, and the many lives she will change through her commitment to peace, justice, and interfaith unity.
--by Laura Keating, Communications Assistant and Walker Resident, BU STH M.Div '21