9 Music Festivals To Add To Your Bucket List

by | Mar 15, 2018 | Entertainment, Event, Fun, Hillel Ontario | 0 comments

Music festivals in Ontario

Do you plan on spending your summer in the city? Here are five music festivals and events to make your summer of 2018 unforgettable!

Canadian Music Festival-Week of May 7th
The Canadian Music Week (CMW) offers something for every music lover. You can attend specific concerts, hear influential speakers from within the music industry, or attend exciting music award shows. This year, CMW is going into its 36th year, taking place during the week of May 7th. If you want to attend concerts, listen to speakers, or maybe even perform yourself click here to learn all about it.

Spotlight on Israeli Culture- On NOW until June 1st!
This one doesn’t necessarily only offer music, but music is one of the components you will be able to find at the “Spotlight on Israeli Culture”. From Jazz to Classical music, you will find many music events with an “Israeli touch” taking place in Toronto from today until June 1st. Click here and see what events you find most interesting.

Bud Light Dreams Festival- June 23rd and 24th
The Bud Light Dreams Music Festival calls itself a “boutique festival experience”. Block out June 23rd and 24th. Dance on a beach while seeing DJs such as Armin Van Buuren, Galantis, Kaskade, Richie Hawtin, or Tchami X Malaa perform live on the Toronto Island. The festival will include three different stages, amazing VIP experiences, and much more! Buy your ticket now and don’t forget to bring your bathing suit!

Future Forest- July 27th-30th
Are you into electronic music? Then you can’t miss the fifth annual Future Forest Festival in Fredericton, NB on July 27-30. Originally, Future Forest was a fundraiser for a DJ who was diagnosed with cancer. The vision behind the festival is that everyone who attends is a participant, contributing to the festival in some way or another, rather than just being a spectator. Want to learn more? Click here for all the info you need to attend and to buy your tickets.

Veld Music Festival- August 4th and 5th
If you are interested in EDM or Hip Hop, or both, you will love the Veld Music Festival in Toronto. This year, the festival is taking place on the 4th and 5th of August with a line-up including DJ Snake, Marshmello, Martin Garrix, and Migos on two stages. Thanks to the subway extension, the new subway will take you straight to the festival grounds! If you’re curious about this high energy festival, click here to learn more or purchase your tickets.

Israeli Music Festivals

Going on birthright Israel this summer? Getting to Israel this summer some other way? No worries, Israel has just as much to offer as the six!

DooF Festival- May 4th-7th
The DooF Festival is taking place at the Golan Beach, a beach on the Sea of Galilee. The trans-music festival is known to unite thousands of people into one big family, with a shared love for dancing and music. This year, the Doof Festival is taking place from the 4th to the 7th of May. Tickets are already on sale, so hurry up and purchase your ticket as soon as possible – the longer you wait, the more expensive they will be!

Jacob’s Ladder Festival- May 11th-13th
If you are more into folk music, Jacob’s Ladder Festival is just what you are looking for. Taking place twice a year, the upcoming dates are May 11th to 13th on the shores of Lake Kinneret. This family friendly music event brings out people with all sorts of backgrounds. Want to buy tickets? Go to their website to find out more.

Midburn- May 14th-19th
Have you heard of the world famous “Burning Man” Festival? Midburn is the Israeli version, based on the festival in Nevada. As part of the six-day long festival, participants build a city in the Negev desert, in which they eat, drink, sleep, build, create art, and party. Different from your usual festival, Midburn does not offer you a list of the most famous DJs to perform for you. If you decide to participate in Midburn, you become an active citizen of the “midburn city”, which comes with responsibilities. Anything provided at Midburn is provided by one of the participants, so think about that when you get ready to go. Most ticket categories are already sold out, but if you hurry up you might be lucky. Purchase your ticket here.

Tamar Festival- September 25th-28th
Looking for an opportunity to experience the south of Israel in a different way? Don’t look any further! The Tamar Festival provides you with Israeli soundtracks over a span of four days. But this is not why the Tamar Festival is so amazing. You will get to enjoy top Israeli artists in four of the most amazing southern landscapes: the Masada Fortress, the peak of Masada (with a breathtaking view over the dead sea), at the Kibbutz Ein Gedi (an oasis in the middle of dry desert), and at Neot Hakikar. Did we get you excited? Purchase your ticket today!

Hillel Ontario’s Remarks at Canada’s National Summit on Antisemitism

Hillel Ontario’s Remarks at Canada’s National Summit on Antisemitism

Today, the Government of Canada held a National Summit on Antisemitism.

Convened by The Honourable Bardish Chagger, Minister of Diversity and Inclusion and Youth, and The Honourable Irwin Cotler, Canada’s Special Envoy on Preserving Holocaust Remembrance and Combatting Antisemitism, today’s Summit sought to provide parliamentarians and policymakers a comprehensive understanding of antisemitism in Canada, and identify concrete steps to address the issues facing the Jewish community.

Below is the full transcript of Hillel Ontario’s testimony.

Good afternoon, 

My name is Jay Solomon, and I am the Chief Communications & Public Affairs Officer for Hillel Ontario. 

Supporting approximately 14,000 Jewish students at nine universities across the province, Hillel Ontario – now the largest Hillel in the world – empowers students to make an enduring commitment to Jewish life, learning, and Israel.

This spring, Israel and Hamas – labelled a terrorist group around the world, including in Canada – squared off in the largest military conflict the region has experienced in some years. For both Israelis and Palestinians, the fighting was painful and distressing. 

In the wake of these tensions, around the world, and certainly here in Canada, supporters of Israel have been subjected to vile and sometimes violent vitriol. And, even more concerning, Diaspora Jews have been attacked – verbally and physically, online and in person – simply for being Jewish and regardless of their feelings about or connection to Israel.

As an illustration, I thought I would share just a few recent examples of some of what Jewish students have been subjected to on campuses in Canada in the past few months. At Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, a student posted a video on social media mocking the stabbing of Israelis. Near Western University, in London, a Nazi flag appeared at an anti-Israel rally. At McMaster University in Hamilton, a Jewish student was bullied online for showing support to Israel. And, on the personal social media pages of countless Jewish students across the province, blue squares and other expressions of concern about antisemitism were peppered with comments condemning Israel, levelling personal attacks at the students who posted them, and, in some, threatening physical violence. 

And then there’s the issues posed by student unions and faculty associations who in many cases have replaced informed debate and well-meaning dialogue – the cornerstones of university education – with one-sided rhetoric condensed to 20 second videos and 140-character tweets in an attempt to boil hundreds of years of culture and history into soundbites that are inevitably biased and simplistic. As a recent example, a student group at Western University published incredibly offensive social media commentary calling on the University Student Council to eliminate “all pro-Zionist narrative” from the campus. Another illustrative example involves the President of the University of Toronto Faculty Association who is alleged to have spoken about an “entitled powerful Zionist minority” at a recent academic panel.

These, and other, recent examples of antisemitism are as disturbing as they are unacceptable. Year over year, the Jewish community is the most targeted religious minority for hate crimes in Canada. And, these recent incidents underscore the important efforts that lay ahead – work that must include critical education on antisemitism, and a renewed commitment to relationship-building based on shared values and experiences. 

What many in the Jewish community have known for some time, but have been reluctant to say out loud, has become entirely self-evident in the past several months. We have long since recognized that antisemitism exists on a broad continuum, ranging from those who are simply uninformed, to those who are misinformed, to those who are wilfully ignorant. 

But, there’s another category; and it is one that has been taboo to speak of in many circles for too long. 

The unpopular reality is that some of the world’s worst antisemites (who, it just so happens, are among Israel’s most virulent detractors) embrace this label with malice and intentionality. And it is this type of poisonous, malevolent antisemitism that has been on full display recently. 

As the largest affiliate of the global Jewish student movement, Hillel Ontario’s student leadership and campus professionals have been working around-the-clock to support students who have been shaken by a tsunami of antisemitism online and on campus. 

We have communicated directly with university presidents, provosts, and student union leaders to ensure Jewish students were protected, and that their rights would be respected. We lodged official student code of conduct complaints and filed police reports when Jewish students were targeted; reported countless antisemitic posts on social media; provided personalized pastoral counselling; compiled educational resources and offered learning opportunities for those wanting to learn more; and provided space for students to process their own feelings, emotions and perspectives.

But, the truth is, our efforts on campus alone are not enough. And, we need your help. 

We need our nation’s leaders to come together to forcefully, consistently, and unconditionally condemn antisemitism – in all its forms – and to take proactive steps to secure the safety and security of the Jewish community of Canada, today and for the years to come.

We need formalized learning opportunities across the educational sector – for teachers, professors, administrators, equity officers, student government leaders and those charged with securing and protecting the campus community – to ensure historical and modern perspectives on antisemitism’s manifestations, as well as ways to combat them, are entrenched in and integrated into diversity, equity and inclusion and anti-oppression programming. Education on the perils of antisemitism must become a natural part of DEI and anti-oppression efforts on university campuses.

As a society, we must publicly acknowledge the overlap between antisemitism and anti-Zionism, and recognize that, far too often, anti-Zionism is used as a convenient shield behind which antisemites stand. 

As advocates for the Jewish community, we know that it is acceptable to criticize Israeli policies, or voice legitimate concerns for the welfare of Palestinians. Like any other liberal democracy, Israel is not immune from legitimate criticism. 

But, we also know that fair-game critiques end when Jews are denied the universally held right to collective self-determination; when Jews are held collectively responsible for the actions of the Israeli government; when antisemitic tropes dating back centuries are used to target Jews and Jewish communal institutions; or when comparisons are drawn between Israel and the horrors of the Holocaust. 

We need Canadian leaders to stand with the overwhelming majority of Jewish Canadians in a definition of antisemitism that includes the delegitimization of the Jewish state. Like any other minority group, the Jewish community’s definition of our oppression should be defined by the majority of our community, not fringe elements within it or outside of it. 

We need our nation’s leaders to counter efforts to promote the divisive and discriminatory Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions campaign against Israel, and work to promote dialogue and relationship-building opportunities based upon shared values. 

On behalf of Hillel Ontario, our students, professional staff and lay leadership, I want to offer my sincere thanks to the Government of Canada for convening this National Summit on Antisemitism, and for inviting me to participate in today’s proceedings. 

In the days and weeks ahead, Hillel Ontario stands ready to support the important work that lies ahead; to work in conjunction with the federal, provincial and municipal governments, and with university leadership, to support Jewish students in the ongoing fight against antisemitism. 

Thank you.

A Hillel Summer: Keeping Spirits High

My name is Stacey Ianco and I am going into my third year at Ryerson’s Ted Rogers School of Management. Hillel has been my home away from home, and has helped me embrace my Jewish culture, enhance my Jewish identity, and meet new people.. 

This year has been like no other we have experienced. Throughout these challenging times, I have felt lucky to have remained connected with my fellow students – especially through my involvement in Hillel. 

Especially given the year we just experienced, Hillel has been vital to my Jewish campus life. That’s why I was so excited to hear that Hillel programming was going to continue during the summer.

Hillels Ryerson, York and UofT teamed up to create the Summer in the 6ix program, and I knew I wanted to participate. 

In addition to receiving some really cool swag, Summer in the 6ix connected me with activities and programming I

 could engage in alongside (virtually) other Jewish students across the GTA. We baked and decorated delicious sugar cookies over a Hillel Zoom meet, sharpened our knowledge and competed with other Hillel students in bi-weekly trivia games, and customized our Hillel t-shirts with tie-dye. In a summer characterized by distancing and separation, Hillel brought me closer to my community.

To be sure, this has been a difficult year for so many reasons. I am so appreciative of all that Hillel does for Jewish students across the province. Especially this year.

I will continue to be an active member of Hillel for all my years of university and the future. Hillel has given me the confidence I need to be a proud Jewish woman and has enhanced my university experience in many ways. 

I look forward to being able to create more special events to include and connect every Jewish student in Ontario for many years to come.

Stacey I., Hillel Ryerson Student Leader

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