We have the privilege of working with students across all of our campuses that inspire us with their leadership, passion and commitment to Jewish life.
My name is Orli, and I’m an alumni of Western University. I grew up in Thornhill in a traditional home and went to Jewish day school, CHAT, and spent summers at Camp Ramah. Through these experiences, I built strong Jewish friendships, developed my Jewish identity, and sought out further connections to Judaism and Israel. After high school, I took a gap year program and spent 9 months travelling, learning, and volunteering in Israel with Young Judaea Year Course. Upon arriving at Western, the first extracurricular club I naturally sought out was Hillel – and I’m so glad I did. My first year as a Hillel member was the first step that launched my Hillel executive committee career as VP Jewish Life followed by VP Administration. In those roles, I developed leadership skills, strengthened my Jewish knowledge and literacy, and made lifelong friends and mentors. Hillel became my second home away from home: a place to learn, have fun, de-stress, and grow. Hillel has provided me with the tools to take ownership over my Jewish experiences, and with those in hand, I know I will continue to embrace Jewish life wherever I am.
University of Toronto
My name is Jesse Shkedy and Hillel at the University of Toronto has been my home away from home since I landed on campus 3 years ago. I hail from Houston, Texas, so the move to Toronto (and to the cold weather!) was definitely a challenge. I knew that by getting involved in Hillel I would be able to join – and help grow – a Jewish community on campus. It started off with a bit of peer pressure (my sister was the President of Hillel) but I quickly formed my own connections and found my own niche, and a great place to eat dinner each night! Hillel has become a place to come to between my classes, and now in my fourth year, I couldn’t be more excited to be the President of Hillel (you know, it runs in the family), and help spark Jewish connections for other students on campus the way my life was inspired when I first moved to Toronto.