The Valley Echo

The Valley Echo

The Valley Echo

The Valley Echo

The Valley Echo

The Valley Echo

Pascack Valley Interfaith Club: First Year in Review

Pascack+Valley+Interfaith+Club%3A+First+Year+in+Review
Megan Austin

This past year was a significant one for Pascack Valley’s Interfaith Club, marking its first official year. The club was previously known as the Harvesters Club, serving Christian students at Valley. However, this year, the school and the club decided to open up to other religious communities, transforming it into the Interfaith Club.

The change began at the end of the 2022-2023 school year when Jewish students and PV seniors Ethan Perlman and Carly Malamut advocated for the creation of a Jewish Student Union at Valley. This effort led to the consolidation of religious clubs into what is now known as the Interfaith Club.

“When I moved here, it seemed like there was a small Jewish population, and it’s important for me to establish a community at Valley,” Interfaith Board Member Carly Malamut said. “Along with the Harvesters, we managed to create a community that includes more religions, expanding the embracement of all Valley students and their faiths.”

As last year’s president of the Harvesters Club, senior Tolu Bosede elaborated on some of the changes made during the transition to the Interfaith Club.

“The club has changed to include more guest speakers across a wider range of religions,” Interfaith Board Member Tolu Bosede said. “Typically, we just had Mr. Zeller, who is a deacon, come in and talk. But this year, we learned about Islam, Judaism, and other cultures and religions through different speakers.”

Advisor of the Interfaith Club and Pascack Valley History Teacher Marisa Mathias took on more of a leadership role this year as the club changed from Harvesters to Interfaith. However, she is leaving the club and transitioning that leadership back to the students for future years.

“The leadership team also expanded, which significantly changed how we ran the club,” Bosede said. “There were no leadership positions like president anymore, so Mathias took on a big leadership role this year.”

The club met frequently throughout the year for interactive meetings, allowing all interested students to learn about and share their religions.

“The club included multiple religions,” Malamut said. “For the Jewish part, we had a rabbi who frequently attended meetings to teach students about the culture. We also had student-run Bible study sessions that I know were popular.”

There were a variety of themed events where students created art or learned about and got to cook new cuisines important to various religions.

“My favorite memory was making challah. I had never done that before,” Bosede said. “In one meeting, there were two guest speakers who talked about Islam, and it was super informative and nice.”

The diverse types of meetings and the frequency of the meetings allowed students to be as involved as they wanted, sharing their religion and learning about others’ faiths.

“The Interfaith Club has allowed Valley students to share their cultures and religions with other religious students in the school,” Bosede said. “It is creating and establishing communities for Valley students while also expanding the knowledge of the rest of the club members.”

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About the Contributors
Sophie Kolax
Sophie Kolax, Staff Editor
Sophie Kolax is a senior and the Managing Editor at the Valley Echo. Her article "PV sophomore cast in movie" was published in the Pascack Press in 2020 and she was featured in Best of SNO (Student News Organization) for her article "Polish slave labor camp survivor reflects on WWII and the current violence in Ukraine." She's looking forward to her fourth year in the publication and continuing to spread news and stories in the Pascack Valley community. When she's not writing for the Echo, she enjoys reading fiction, listening to music, and traveling with her family. 
Megan Austin
Megan Austin, Social Media Editor
Megan Austin is the Social Media Editor for the Valley Echo, Pascack Valley High school’s student publication and has been for three years. She frequently enjoys visiting local restaurants to write food reviews and loves skiing in the Green Mountains. She proudly represents the publication with two articles published in the Pascack Press, as well. 

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