Student starts dreidel club, unites members with cultural Jewish experience

Novi freshman Casey Croad is already involved in seven registered student organizations on campus — from statistics club to swing dancing — but that didn’t stop him from creating his own.

Dreidel Club, founded by Croad, is dedicated to teaching students how to play dreidel and create friendships within the campus community.

Members of the club also have the opportunity to make dreidel shaped food, Croad said, which are a combination of marshmallow and Hershey kisses stuck together.

Croad said he never misses an opportunity to go to hall council in Trout Hall to promote the group and hopefully get more members.

Dreidel Club meets at 7 p.m. every Saturday in the Trout Hall terrace.

Why did you start the Dreidel Club?

CROAD: My mom is Jewish and my dad is Christian. When I was little we would play dreidel on Hanukkah.When I was in elementary school, my mom would come into my class and teach them how to play dreidel.

I thought it was a good idea to start a club around this relatively simple game so people could come and make friends and get out of their comfort zones.

What happens at your meetings?

After the executive board members talk a little about our goal and introduces ourselves, I explain how to play dreidel. Then we split into four or five group with the older members sitting next to the newer members so they can help them.

After a couple of games we bring out the dreidel shaped food, which gets people pretty excited, and afterwards we just talk.

Is dreidel easy to learn?

It’s pretty easy to learn. By now we have enough people who know how to play, so the veterans kind of help people who are new and don’t know how to play.

It’s a gambling game. You just need to know what the four symbols mean.

Do you have to be Jewish or religious to come to Dreidel Club?

Nope. It says in the preamble of our groups constitution that this is a non-religious affiliated organization promoting a stress-relieving game in a group setting. I think it can help people gain knowledge and a new perspective on life.

I know you’re involved in a lot, but what other groups are you a part of?

I’m involved in Trout Hall’s Hall Council, stats club, SCAMS, which is the meteorology club, Running Club, two bible studies, one with Cru and one with His House, and I go to swing dancing at Wesley Church.

I’m not a member, but I am a (also) a participant of Kappa Mu Epsilon.

What is your favorite thing about Dreidel Club?

Honestly, I like the stuff we do after Dreidel Club. Sometimes we swing dance or play basketball after.

I get to have conversations with people where I can get to know a person and get to see a new perspective.

A lot of us are very outgoing so when we see a new person we try to reach out to them to see how they’re doing, and that’s what I like.

What do you see for the future of Dreidel Club?

I would like to get the word out as much as possible and grow to other parts of campus. Maybe get an auditorium where we could play dreidel with 50 or 60 people.

I want us to grow on social media, promote ourselves online on YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. I just want to show people how much fun we’re having.