Written by Max Marmer, Director, Hillel Waterloo
The new school year always comes with much anticipation and excitement. We welcome new students to our campuses who bring fresh energy and enthusiasm and enjoy reconnecting with old friends after the summer. It brings more sweetness to the New Year than apples and honey on Rosh HaShanah! With the anticipation and excitement can come some nervousness as the freshmen take new risks to get involved and the upper years come across new challenges.
At Hillel Waterloo, we want to thank those who have taken the risk to get involved. We know how difficult it can be to take that first step and come out to your first event, but taking that risk definitely pays off. One of the most important things that any student can do on campus is build a community for themselves, a group with whom they can celebrate the good times and can support them through the tough times.
Our first Shabbat dinner was definitely one that built community. (F)rosh HaShanah Shabbat dinner brought together old friends and embraced new ones. We had a unique introduction to Rosh HaShanah through a meditation led by Devon Spier, a rabbinical student who is local to the Waterloo area. The meditation gave us the opportunity to look back on the past year and connect our experiences to each of our five senses. Devon then led us through a breathing exercise connected to some of the trope of selichot. Many students stayed well past midnight chatting and catching up.
As the cakes at our Shabbat dinner said, ‘Welcome Back Hillel Waterloo’ and ‘Shanah Tova, See You Next Year’!