Written by Jesse Wolfsohn, Student

Hello, my name is Jesse Wolfsohn. I am a third-year Biochemistry student, who has been involved with Hillel for two years now. Over the summer, I participated in a program in Israel that allowed me to become a medical responder and volunteer with Magen David Adom, the ambulance services in Israel. This was a fantastic experience that allowed me to experience the “true Israel” through living independently in a foreign culture, as well as helping Israelis from all walks of life. A case I thoroughly enjoyed involved taking a woman who was in labour to the hospital. She was squeezing my hand the whole time. I was overcome with such “Naches” knowing that I was helping and supporting someone in bringing a new life to this world. There were many events which provoked thoughts about the human experience. For example, one of my favourite cases involved helping a man who had fallen down to get back into his bed. An action like that was simple and yet meant so much. The sincerity that I felt in the “thank you” was immensely powerful, and that was such an amazing gift in itself.

The work involved a lot of on-the- spot, critical thinking and leadership, both of which are skills that can be used for organizing activities through Hillel. Furthermore, the experience gave foresight with regards to seeing individuals for who they are at heart as human beings, and not for external appearance. This perspective is something that I hope everyone at Hillel and the greater campus can share!

For more information about my experience, please check out an article that I wrote for the Ottawa Jewish Bulletin, as well as a Queen’s Journal article in which I was featured!