Jewish Owl of the Week

Stephen Cohen

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Full Name: Stephen William Cohen

Hometown: Marietta, GA

Class Year: 2022

Major: Biomedical Engineering 

Since starting at KSU last semester, what has been your favorite part of college?  Meeting so many new friends.

What are some of your hobbies or favorite activities to do outside of class?  I love playing on the club baseball team for KSU.  I also like to play intramural basketball.

What inspired you to be a part of Chabad Board? Tell us about your experience.  I really wanted to work with Rabbi Zalman again, because he was my Bar Mitzvah teacher and I wanted to help make our events as enjoyable and special as possible.

How would you describe yourself to someone who does not know you? Fun, caring, compassionate, and a great guy.

Who is somebody you look up to and why? My dad.  He has taught me so many life lessons: to give good advice, and to be an excellent coach and leader.

What have been some of your favorite Chabad events? Simchat Torah and Sushi Night!

What is your dream job? Surgeon

What advice would you give to other Jewish students who want to get involved? Go and I guarantee you will not regret it.

How would you describe Chabad Shabbat dinner to someone who has never attended?  A great time to hang out and forget about a stressful week.  It is something I always look forward to!

Favorite Jewish Food? Falafel!


Stephanie Birnbaum

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Full Name: Stephanie Birnbaum

Hometown: Marietta

Class Year: Junior

Major: Public Relations

You recently visited Israel on Birthright. Tell us your favorite part about your trip.

I went on Birthright over winter break, and there were so many amazing things. If I had to pick a favorite, it would probably be getting to experience Shabbat at the Western Wall in Jerusalem.

If you could give incoming freshman college advice, what would that be?

Go to class and do your homework. Also it is possible to eat well and live in a dorm. You don’t need to survive on ramen.

What was your first impression of Chabad here at KSU?

I came to Shabbat dinner one night as a freshman, and I was amazed by the community.

When you aren’t in class, what are you doing?

During the summer, you’ll probably find me at a Braves game. Otherwise, I’m with my friends running around Atlanta or at various concerts.

What is one of your favorite Jewish traditions/holiday?   

Passover is my favorite holiday, easily. My family hosts Seder every year, and I love having my entire family around.

You are a big part of Kosher Cooking Club at Chabad. Tell us what a Thursday night preparing for Shabbat looks like?

It’s a lot of fun. I started going to Kosher cooking club my freshman year. I have not only learned how to braid challah, but made some awesome memories.

Why do you think other Jewish students should get involved with Chabad?

Chabad is a place where you can always find someone like you. Everyone has a different Jewish story, but having everyone come together on a Friday night is amazing. 

Where do see yourself in 10 years?

Hopefully running promo and public relations for a professional sports team!

Favorite Jewish Food?

Koogle, hands down. 

Joey Tarab

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Full Name: Joseph Chaim Tarab

Hometown: Sandy Springs, GA

Class Year: 2018

Major: Psychology

Since starting at KSU last semester, what has been your favorite part of college so far? Wow, starting off tough! I would say that my favorite part of college so far is all the new, wonderful people I have met. Coming to Kennesaw, I knew almost nobody (excluding a few from high school), but now I’ve got some really awesome people in my life who I have shared some special moments with, and hopefully many more!

What are some of your favorite spots to hangout or study on campus? “Hangout” can be taken out of that question because I seriously only study. Nonetheless, I love going to Prillaman Hall or the quiet floor of the library when it comes to where I like to study. When it’s warm outside, there is this nice, semi-quiet spot in Kennesaw Hall where I go sometimes to read a book or just continue to study.

Tell us about your experience as a Chabad Board member. What inspired you to join? Getting involved with Chabad early and putting myself out there was one of the best decisions I have made since coming to Kennesaw, so to become even more involved as an active board member is something that I cherish dearly.  

When you aren’t in class, what are you doing? When I’m not in class, I’m probably studying (my friends can back that up). That being said, I’ve recently started going to the gym which is something I have made part of my routine. Almost 100% of the time you can find me in the Commons after a workout, eating my heart away. I also do a lot with the Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity where I am a brother, as well as stay active in the Chabad organization.

You have attended Shabbat almost every week since coming to KSU. What keeps you coming back? You would think that as a board member, it’s my obligation to attend Shabbat. However, I go back every week not because I’m obligated to, but because I want to. I enjoy the experience immensely every single time. From the food, to the songs, to the people I get to meet, Friday nights are a special experience I love being a part of.

What advice would you give to other Jewish students who want to get involved? My advice would be to just go to one event. Just one. At Chabad, people are friendly and are always down to make a new friend. If you go to one event, I guarantee you’ll make one new friend and probably even more. Life is about going out and doing things you aren’t normally comfortable doing. That’s the only way to meet new people and more importantly, grow as a person. That’s what happened for me, so I don’t see why it can’t happen for you.

What is one of your favorite Jewish traditions/holidays? I’m going to go with Shabbat. Although it is a holiday that occurs every week, it never loses its significance. As long as I’m around, you know I’ll be at Shabbat dinner. 

Favorite Jewish Food? Okay, this is easily the hardest question. I haven’t had it in a while, but my dad makes some killer Shakshuka, so I’d definitely have to say that. That’s not to say that Shawarma isn’t good either. Also, Pita Grille in Sandy Springs makes a pretty darn good Laffa.

Jamie Fleishman

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Hometown: Suwanee, GA

Class Year: 2020

Major: Media Entertainment

What do you consider to be your spirit animal and why? Dory from “Finding Nemo” is my spirit animal. “Just keep swimming” is basically how I’ve started living my life. The places you go and the people you meet are part of your life for a reason. The more you keep swimming, the more people you will meet and the more places you will go!

What is your favorite part of KSU? Getting to experience being on a college campus! I lived at home my first two years of college, and a part of me felt like I was missing out on the real college experience. I am so thankful that KSU has been able to give me that!

You have been involved with Chabad since you started here at KSU. Tell us how this organization has impacted your college career? When I moved to Kennesaw, I didn’t have a single friend. It was something I was really nervous about. I moved to a new place and started a new school without knowing anyone. On the very first day of classes, Chabad was hosting a welcome back sushi lunch on campus. As soon as I walked into that room I felt so welcomed, and I felt like I had found my place. Now I am at Chabad multiple times a week and I have met so many friends through this amazing organization!

You are a big traveler; tell us about some of the destinations that you have visited. I have visited Israel, Greece, and many islands in the Caribbean. I also had layovers in France and Italy…can we count those?!

What is one of your favorite Jewish traditions/holiday? I would say Shabbat on Friday night is my favorite Jewish tradition! All week I look forward to spending time with my friends at Chabad. Shabbat to me is about friends, good food, and looking forward to a day of rest!

If you could visit anywhere in the world right now, where would that be and why? Right now, I would choose Japan! All of my friends know that sushi is my favorite food, and it is on my bucket list to eat authentic sushi made in Japan.

Tell us about your experience on Thursday nights at Kosher Cooking Club. What motivates you to come each week? I started helping Nechami cook for Shabbat back in August. I have always loved cooking and I actually find it very soothing. Cooking is an art for me and it’s always exciting to see what can be created next. I love spending time with Nechami and helping her plan meals, and just getting to hang out with her in the kitchen. I am finally mastering the art of challah braiding!

Favorite Jewish Food? Definitely homemade potato latkes!  

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