CRSL Newsletter
May 16, 2020
Congratulations Smithies!
Sanna Muhammad is
co-chair of Al Iman
Naomi Forman-Katz is a CRSL intern and co-chair of Smith College Jewish Community
Whitney Mutalemwa is part of Smith Christian Fellowship
Honoring Our Seniors

The CRSL is run not only by staff, but by our student interns and Interfaith Advisory Board members. We are deeply grateful to the work and contributions of Naomi Forman-Katz, Kimraj Jordan, Sanna Muhammad, Whitney Mutalemwa, and Raleigh Williams.

We will miss each of you so much but your legacy is indelible and we trust you will keep in touch and join our special CRSL alumnae network!
We feature Sanna, Naomi, and Whitney here:

Sanna Muhammed: In her time as an Interfaith Advisory Board member and co-chair of
Al Iman, Sanna made significant and long-lasting contributions to Muslim Life and interfaith dialogue on campus. She is known for her strong leadership, her kind and thoughtful manner, her quiet sense of humor, and her passion for deepened understanding of religious practice. Sanna is taking a gap year instead of the Fulbright that she was awarded (as it was cancelled because of Covid19) while she prepares for medical school, possibly to study functional medicine. The Al Iman alumnae group look forward to Sanna's wisdom and guidance. 
Whitney Mutalemwa: As Advisory Board member and a Christian “Growth Group” leader, Whitney built so many bridges all across campus and brought many new initiatives to the CRSL. She is known for her work in many areas of Smith life, and her deep and thoughtful engagement in many social and community issues. She is also known for her amazing steady pace, consistent goodwill and kindness. Whitney does not shy away from speaking truth to power nor does she abandon important conversations. Whitney has gotten a prestigious job at Deutsche Bank, and we are so glad she has promised to come visits us from NYC!

Naomi Forman-Katz: Naomi is graduating with a major in Government and a minor in Statistical and Data Sciences. This past semester, she was a CRSL intern as well as co-chair of the Smith College Jewish Community. “She is grateful to the CRSL for providing a space to dig deep into spirituality and interfaith work, and for their thoughtful and endless support of people of all faiths and religious backgrounds at Smith." Naomi is known for her thoughtful discernment as well as exceptional kindness in intergroup dialogues, and for helping the CRSL navigate issues that have affected religious communities. The CRSL benefited from both her religious knowledge and social and political passion and understanding. The CRSL and the Jewish community are counting on her to continue to advise us!
Seeking Refuge in Uncertainty:
A Rite of Passage for These Times
My college graduation was very strange. I had been accepted into the Smith College School for Social Work and was scheduled to begin the summer program there on June 4. This was, however, the very same day of my undergraduate graduation, as we were on a trimester system.
A family member with financial resources kindly bought me a plane ticket to help me travel from back east to attend orientation events at the School for Social Work, and then fly  back  to attend my college graduation.

After classes were over I packed a backpack and flew from Portland, OR to Northampton, MA to attend a few days of orientation.

But it turned out as confused as I was about the end of semester activities in one place, and orientation activities in another, that by the time I got to Northampton, orientation activities had mostly ended and students were preparing to begin classes, settling into their rooms and beginning to explore Northampton.

I remember sitting by the banks of the Mill River looking up at the trees wondering to myself,  what on earth have I done?  Back in Oregon my friends had mostly moved us out of our apartment, and in 48 hours I packed up the rest of my belongings and tried to be a civil host to my parents who were there to see me graduate, and walked sleepily onto the stage to receive my diploma. The whole thing was a blur. (Read more on the CRSL Blog b elow.)
Photos by Maureen Raucher, Advisor to the Christian and Humanist Communities
A Prayer for Our Seniors
W hen the time has come that you must say farewell, when blossoming blessings fill the air, when your spirit is lifted high above and emotions sink to unimaginable depths, when hugs for friends permeate your being, when distances appear so vast to cover, you will know that the time has come for new beginnings.

Because life is not what we always think it should be, and the unexpected curve ball takes us down a winding road, but through it all we learn to cultivate an internal resiliency, compassion, and enduring forbearance for difficulty.

Your lives at Smith have helped evolve you into the people that you have become. Seniors, you are beautiful, you are resilient, you are competent, you are confident, you are vulnerable, you are human, aspire to the Divine. Set your face to the far-reaching mountains of life and there you will find the true self with sacred support in the wings of destiny. Blessings await you. Go forth in peace, integrity and love!

- Kim Alston, Muslim Student Advisor

Excerpts from a Map to the Next World

…..We were never perfect.

Yet, the journey we make together is perfect on this earth who was
once a star and made the same mistakes as humans.

We might make them again, she said.

Crucial to finding the way is this: there is no beginning or end.

You must make your own map.....

-Joy Harjo

Everything is Waiting for You

Your great mistake is to act
the drama as if you were alone.
As if life were a progressive
and cunning crime
with no witness to the
tiny hidden transgressions.
To feel abandoned is to deny
the intimacy of your surroundings. Surely, even you, at times,
have felt the grand array;
the swelling presence, and the
chorus, crowding out your
solo voice. You must note
the way the soap dish
enables you, or the window
latch grants you freedom.
Alertness is the hidden discipline
of familiarity. The stairs
are your mentor of things
to come, the doors have
always been there
to frighten you and invite
you, and the tiny speaker
in the phone is your
dream-ladder to divinity.
Put down the weight
of your aloneness and
ease into the conversation.
The kettle is singing even as
it pours you a drink,
the cooking pots have left
their arrogant aloofness and
seen the good in you at last.
All the birds and creatures
of the world are unutterably
themselves. Everything is
waiting for you.

— David Whyte

Mindful Mondays, Monday, May 18, 12:15 p.m.
Mindful Living in the Time of a Pandemic: Holding Fear, Cultivating Hope   is this week’s theme for Mindful Mondays. Join Matilda Cantwell, Director of Religious and Spiritual Life and College Chaplain via zoom for guided meditation, conversation, and community. Mindful Mondays continues to provide spiritual resources and community in this time of uncertainty. All are welcome. Sign up at   by 11:00 a.m. on Mondays and then stay tuned for zoom invite by email. If you have any questions or need information to connect via audio, please email Matilda ( ).
Our Address
Smith College
Center for Religious and Spiritual Life
Helen Hills Hills Chapel
123-125 Elm Street
Northampton, Massachusetts 01063
For news, events and programs :