4 Steps to Forgiveness

by | Sep 21, 2018 | Hillel Ontario, Jewish Holiday | 0 comments

Just like the art of apologizing, figuring out how to forgive can be hard work. With Yom Kippur, we not only are offering apologies for our past mistakes, but are also getting and, ideally, accepting apologies from others.

For better or worse, Jewish tradition generally requires a person to accept an apology and offer forgiveness at a certain point.  Even after verbally forgiving someone, it can take some work to really feel at peace and to heal, to the extent it’s even possible. Here are four actionable steps you can take toward forgiveness this year:

1. Acknowledge and consider the person’s point of view. Take a moment to try to understand why they might have done what they did and the factors in their life that could have caused conflict. Acknowledging – not justifying – the complexities in someone’s life can help you come to terms with what they did and see them for more than just their mistake.

2. Focus on the good – it’s easy to forget someone’s positive qualities when they have wronged you, but the good often outweighs the bad. Considering the ways they’ve contributed to your life in a positive way can bring you one step closer to forgiving them.

3. Show you’re willing to move forward – letting someone off the hook and closing the door is not the final step in forgiveness. It’s important to show you’re willing to maintain your relationship with them, and it takes two.

4. Forgiveness doesn’t always mean returning to the previous status quo – just because you’ve forgiven someone doesn’t mean that everything goes back to the way it was before. If might be that forgiving someone comes with setting boundaries on how much time you spend with them or how you engage with each other.

Taking actionable steps toward forgiving someone, even if they aren’t trying to make amends, is an important practice that can protect you from unwanted stress, but true forgiveness takes work from both sides.

Hillel Ontario Welcomes University of Toronto’s Anti-Semitism Working Group

Hillel Ontario Welcomes University of Toronto’s Anti-Semitism Working Group

Hillel Ontario welcomes University of Toronto’s recent launch of a new Anti-Semitism Working Group. The Working Group will review programming, activities, processes, and practices in place at the University of Toronto’s three campuses and develop recommendations to support the University’s response to antisemitism.

“The establishment of a working group focused on antisemitism is a much-needed measure for the University of Toronto,” said Rob Nagus, Senior Director, Hillel UofT. “Too often, Jewish students who have faced antisemitism on campus have felt that their serious concerns around anti-Jewish hate were dismissed. Given the positive impact of recent anti-racism initiatives on the campus community, it is incumbent on our institutions to also address the unique challenges inherent to combating antisemitism.”

“Across the nine campuses we serve, Hillel Ontario is committed to working with all university administrations to champion the voices of Jewish students,” said Marc Newburgh, CEO, Hillel Ontario. “We look forward to supporting the work of the University of Toronto by ensuring these voices are heard and acknowledged. Doing so will help the Working Group better understand how contemporary antisemitism manifests on campus.”

Hillel International Honours Hillel Ontario

Hillel International Honours Hillel Ontario

Hillel International recently honoured outstanding Hillels and Hillel professionals for creating innovative Jewish experiences and meaningful connections throughout the pandemic.

Among those recognized was Hillel Ontario, and its Chief Campus and Education Officer, Rabbi Seth Goren.

As a whole, Hillel Ontario – the largest regional Hillel in the world – was honoured with The Eleanor Meyerhoff Katz Innovation Award. This recognition is awarded to a Hillel for its creation of innovative processes that refresh, reinvent or revolutionize the relationships, communities and experiences helping students engage in Jewish self-authorship, or for helping staff improve the impact of their work by encouraging reasonable and calculated risk-taking, exploration, and curiosity.

In addition, Rabbi Seth Goren was honoured with The Richard M. Joel Exemplars of Excellence Award for his passion and outstanding devotion to the Jewish campus community, for enriching the lives of Hillel students and for ensuring that the organization reflects a culture of excellence.

I am privileged to work with such a talented, caring, and resilient group of campus professionals, led by Rabbi Seth Goren” said Hillel Ontario CEO, Marc Newburgh. “While confronted with so many significant challenges, this team has done an incredible job inspiring, supporting and empowering our students, creating meaningful and reimagined opportunities for connection that amplify Jewish campus life.”

About Hillel International
Founded in 1923, Hillel has been enriching the lives of Jewish students for more than 90 years. Today, Hillel International is a global organization that welcomes students of all backgrounds and fosters an enduring commitment to Jewish life, learning and Israel. Hillel is dedicated to enriching the lives of Jewish students so that they may enrich the Jewish people and the world. As the largest Jewish student organization in the world, Hillel builds connections with emerging adults at more than 550 colleges and universities, and inspires them to direct their own path. During their formative college years, students are challenged to explore, experience, and create vibrant Jewish lives.

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