3 Important Messages in Netta’s Toy

by | Nov 15, 2018 | Hillel Ontario | 0 comments

The winner of the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest “Toy”,  by Netta Barzilai, is a powerful song that will make anyone stop what they are doing and pay attention. Netta conquered the world with a song that is sticky, fun, interesting, and totally different. But the song is not just you average top 40 hit. The Israeli artist is using it to spread important and powerful messages that the audience may not catch the first time they listen. With punchy lyrics and strong visuals, Netta expresses her thoughts on the #MeToo movement and fights back against today’s beauty standards and stereotypes.

 

It Raises Awareness Of Sexual Harassment

Netta has made many statements confirming that her up-beat song is meant to support the #MeToo movement. Netta is a strong advocate for raising awareness of victims of sexual harassment, and gender inequality. In “Toy”, she uses terms like “stupid boy”, and “chicken” to describe the cowardly behaviour of  abusive men that continues in our society.

 

It Encourages Women To Speak Out

“Toy” aims to empower women with references to Wonder Woman, and by encouraging them to understand their own worth and to speak up for themselves. An example is the line: “The Barbie’s got something to say…” implying that women are not just iconic dolls with no voice but need to speak up for themselves.  Another powerful line is “I don’t care ‘bout your Stefa baby”. As Netta explains during an official Eurovision Song Contest interview the slang word “Stefa” is a term used to describe a pile of cash. By telling the world not to care about a man’s’ “Stefa”, Netta empowers women to free themselves from financial dependence and take charge of their own life.

 

It Fights Body Shaming and Societal Beauty Standards

Netta was quoted, saying that in the early stages of her career she was told to “dress like [she has] nothing to celebrate. Dress in black. Dress big. Short skirts are not for [her]. Short sleeves are not for [her]. [She’s] not sexy or beautiful. [She’s] funny – that’s what [she is].” But that was not how Netta saw herself. She wants to be part of today’s pop culture, and her music to reflect who she really is. Netta decided to break the stereotype that  “pop stars have to be thin and beautiful” which she does by wearing bright colors, fun hairstyles, and making funny noises. You can find this reflected in the lyrics of “Toy”, when Netta opens the song with the powerful line: “Look at me, I’m a beautiful creature”. (Source)

Now Netta is coming to Toronto to deliver her powerful message in person. On January 24th, Hillel Ontario is proud to host Netta’s first live performance in Canada during Out of Sync! If you haven’t bought your tickets already be sure to buy them today at www.outofsync.ca/tickets – See you there!

Something New

Something New

The fall post-holiday period is always a good time for launching new things. To the extent we’re not completely exhausted, our five-day work weeks are back (instead of five days of work crammed into three-day weeks), and we’re able to get into something of a rhythm and build momentum in moving toward specific goals.

Adding to the sense of newness and adventure, the third post-holidays Torah portion of Lekh Lekha, which was read this past Shabbat, begins with Abraham receiving divine instructions to leave his home and begin a journey to a new land.  Commentators highlight the uncertainty inherent in the command’s wording: instead of being directed to a specific place, Abraham, at least initially, is told to go “to the land that I will show you,” a vague and undisclosed destination. While he is promised blessings galore for his obedience, setting out requires an element of faith and quite a bit of trust as he leaves his home land and father’s house for somewhere new.

While it’s certainly several orders of magnitude smaller than the journey Abraham undertook, Hillel Ontario is trying something new this week: we’re introducing a new section to our regular newsletters and will be including a d’var Torah to showcase our students’ and staff’s skills and present our readers with a bit of Jewish learning. We hope you’ll find these commentaries inspiring and meaningful and that they’ll provide a glimpse of the Hillel Ontario community that spans our nine campuses.

A Message from Hillel Ontario’s Student Presidents

A Message from Hillel Ontario’s Student Presidents

Dear students, parents, supporters, and other members of the Ontario Jewish community,

We are writing to you as the Hillel presidents representing nine universities across Ontario. 

We are often asked what it’s like to be a Jewish student on campus. And, in previous years, we would have taken a more upbeat approach to answering that question. The truth is that things have changed over the past 5 months.

Prior to this spring’s war in Israel, we had never experienced the level of vitriol and backlash that we did recently. We were caught off guard. Many Jewish students lost friendships and severed connections that had been created over many years. Our mental health was stretched to the limit; we have felt burnt out, isolated and anxious.  Even now, with autumn upon us, we are still feeling the exhausting effects of a summer spent advocating for the well-being of our fellow Jewish students. 

Walking back onto campus this week, it was difficult to see some students obviously (and understandably) anxious – both because of the pandemic, and because of the antisemitism Jewish students have experienced over the past several months. At the same time, we also feel more empowered than ever to proclaim pride in our Jewish identity, bolstered by the tremendous support we have felt from across the community.  

Whether you are a first year student, a parent, a sibling, an alum, or simply a member of the community concerned about what seems like an endless barrage of attacks aimed at Jewish students on campus, we want to assure you that as Hillel presidents, we are deeply committed to our roles and responsibilities. We hear your concerns. And, we are proud to serve the current and future Jewish students we support.  

We are working to build relationships with student governments, clubs, interfaith groups, faculty, and administrators on each of our campuses. We continue to empower our peers to learn, to educate, and to advocate for the issues close to our hearts. And, we continue to provide a safe and welcoming community for Jewish students, both on and off campus. 

We also seek to increase resources and staff available to our students so that no one feels unsupported or ill-prepared. We want Jewish students to feel like they can be their entire selves without having to hide a Magen David or avoid conversations about Judaism, Zionism or Israel. 

As we move into a new Jewish year and a new school year, we wish we could say with more certainty exactly what is to come in the next few months. However, it would be naive to do so. Instead, we would like to take this opportunity to commit to you that we will continue to have challenging, but necessary, dialogue with allies across campus. We will continue to support our peers when they feel uncomfortable. And, we will continue to ask for help when we need it. 

Time and time again, our collective history has proven that in a proud, empowered, and united community there is strength, and that from one another we can draw resilience. 

L’shana Haba on quieter, more inclusive campuses. 

Ariel Oren, Guelph Hillel
Evan Kanter, Hillel Student Leader Representative, Hillel UofT
Nathaniel Katz, Queen’s Hillel
Shira Miller, Hillel Laurier
Danielle Lebowitz, Hillel Waterloo
Hannah Silverman, McMaster Hillel
Jordan Goldenberg, Hillel Ryerson
Isabel Borisov, Western Hillel
Nicole Bodenstein, York Hillel

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