When I applied to be the Administrative Intern at Hillel Ryerson in the Summer of 2018, I didn’t know exactly what to expect. The role was to assist with organizational and managerial tasks. As a Ted Rogers student, I knew I would excel in this position and that it would look great on my resume. What I didn’t know was just how involved I was about to become in the Hillel community, and how far it would take me.  

In this school year alone, I have been able to do a little bit of everything. Some of my favourite things have been setting up the Ryerson Hillel Loft so that it was a warm and comforting environment, organizing our weekly lunches, as well as  welcoming students who attended programs. Hillel also provided me with the tools to facilitate and host a Shabbat dinner with 10 of my closest friends, allowing me to take ownership of my Jewish experiences and explore what Shabbat means to me.

One of my favourite events was the annual Multi-Faith Shabbat dinner where I spent a beautiful evening with Ryerson University’s President, Mohamed Lachemi. It was incredibly impactful to hear first hand the university’s commitment on fostering a safe campus for Jewish students.

Throughout this experience, I have formed many meaningful and long-lasting friendships.

Last week I had the opportunity of a lifetime. At 6am I departed on a bus to Ottawa to dine with the President of Israel, Reuven (Ruvi) Rivlin and Canada’s Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau. Of all the things that I expected from this internship, meeting two world leaders was certainly not one of them. Thanks to a couple of fantastic individuals, I was selected to be in a group of 20 students across Ontario who had displayed commitment and leadership in their respective roles within Hillel.  There’s nothing quite like hearing our nation’s Prime Minister actively speak to strengthening his support for Israel. It is something I will never forget. Through my internship, and the relationships built with Hillel’s advocacy professionals, it is fair to say that my involvement with Israel advocacy on campus has developed immensely this year.

All I can say is a big, big thank you to everyone involved in my time interning. Thank you to the students I’ve seen every day at the Loft. Thank you to the wonderful Elyse Wieskopf for taking me on in this role and giving me and my ideas a space to be heard and to come to life. And ultimately, thank you to Hillel Ontario for providing me with all of the opportunities presented thus far.

Here’s to many more.

Until Next Semester,
Marta Dubov

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