A Letter To Survivors

by | Nov 11, 2016 | Hillel Ontario | 0 comments

As part of Holocaust Education Week, Hillel Ontario set up an online declaration of remembrance  for students and community members to sign in solidarity with our Holocaust survivors. As of today, over 490 people have penned their name, pledging to never forget.

The idea behind this amazing project was to add an interactive, accessible and action-oriented component to Holocaust Education Week. At events and programs at all of our campuses across the province, participants are encouraged to join this movement, using it as an opportunity to reflect on the week’s experiences at interactive exhibits, survivor testimonies, and multi-faith Shabbat dinners. It was also a way for those who were unable to be on campus to still participate in Holocaust Education Week.

The outcome of this project was overwhelmingly powerful. People from all different backgrounds, and universities signed the letter. Reflections ranged from expressions of gratitude, to very personal messages to survivors, to the appreciation and inspiration derived from hearing their stories. The impact on participants has been powerful.

Hillel Ontario intends to collate all of the responses and reflect them in this letter to survivors that will be published in conjunction with the International Holocaust Remembrance Day on January 27th, 2017. Holocaust survivors will then be able to hear, and read, about how meaningful their stories are, and realize the impact that their history has on the current and future generations of our community.

“The Holocaust has come to be one of the greatest acts of injustice our world will ever know. It is our responsibility as students, Canadians and above all human beings to honour those both surviving and passed and share their stories.”

– Anna Teliatkin.


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.