Classified – September/ October 2016

by | Sep 28, 2016 | Hillel Ontario | 0 comments

The Barry Rubin Prize – Essay Competition, presented by CIJA

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Who? If you are currently studying at a university or a college in Canada this is an amazing opportunity for you to win $500.
What?  Write a 1800-2500 word long essay answering the question “With Iran striving for increased regional influence, what possibilities and limitations exist for enhanced Israel-Arab cooperation?
How? Submit your essay to barryrubinprize@cija.ca in order to take part in the competition.
When? The submission deadline for The Barry Rubin Prize id February 7, 2017. Click here for more information.


CJPAC – School Year Internship

Every Sunset

Who? Students who are enthusiastic and passionate about Canadian politics, the Jewish community and Israel.
What? The Canadian Jewish Political Affairs Committee (CJPAC) is looking for a school year intern. The Internship Program is 20 hours per week and runs from October 2016 to April 2017.
Highlights include:

  • Support new and exciting programming implemented across the country
  • Support and help implement CJPAC events
  • Help with database management and data entry/administrative tasks
  • Meet and network with political activists and community leaders
  • Opportunities for education and enhancement of your political skills.

When? Your application is due on September 30th, 2016 at 5PM.
How? Click here to apply.


Jewish Family & Child Homework Club – Volunteer Tutor 2016
Jewish Family & Child Homework Club Volunteer Tutor 2016

Who? University students, especially in the Toronto area.
What? JF&CS is looking for volunteers to tutor at the Homework Club. The tutors will provide homework help for students in grades 4 and up. Ideally all tutors will have a good understanding of the school subject areas including: elementary, middle and secondary school subjects, as well as a good understanding of learning disabilities and behavioural issues.
When? Tutor sessions will take place from 6 pm – 7:30 pm for the school year Tuesday or Wednesday.
How? For more information, or to apply please contact Andrea Pines, at 416 638-7800 x 6266, or email apines@jfandcs.com.

 

 

Stronger Together!

Stronger Together!

Over this past Family Day Weekend, I spent a lot of time reflecting both about the challenges we face, but also about the incredible strength and resiliency of this community. Jewish students are often at the forefront of hate and discrimination on campus and online, but we are at our most powerful – and most effective – when we work together as one.

With that in mind, I want to provide several important advocacy updates.

First, I am excited to share that Hillel Ontario has begun convening meetings to coordinate advocacy initiatives amongst Jewish campus organizations across the country. The time has come for Hillel Ontario to lead the way in encouraging cooperation to accomplish the goals we collectively share. Joining us in these monthly discussions are Hillel Montreal, Hillel BC, Hillel Ottawa, CJPAC, Hasbara Fellowships and StandWithUs. We appreciate their willingness to engage with us in these important conversations.

Second, I want to update you on the University of Toronto Students’ Union (UTSU) matter that galvanized much community discussion last week. In addition to endorsing a motion to divest from companies doing business in Israel, the union misrepresented the recently released report of the Antisemitism Working Group and its approach to what does or does not constitute antisemitism. Hillel views these type of divestment motions as part of a wider issue of antisemitism on campus, and we have made that point clearly and consistently to university leadership and members of the Working Group for the better part of the past year.

Late Friday, Working Group members released an important statement, which both criticized the rhetoric of union leaders, and vindicated our belief that hate speech directed at Israel, Israelis or Jews based on actions (real or imagined) of the Israeli government is antisemitism. This is an important moment; one that underscores why our approach to these issues, and the allies we foster across campus are so critical. While we may not be able to stop every divestment motion from passing, we can – and we will continue to – have our voices heard by university leadership to ensure antisemitism remains on the margins. This is precisely what happened last week at the UofT.

Jewish students deserve to study, live and socialize in an environment free from harassment and discrimination. Hillel will continue to condemn antisemitism, defend Israel and our right to self-determination, and build essential relationships on campus to secure the well-being of the students we so proudly serve.

And, we will do so in concert with our allies; because we believe we are stronger together.

Sincerely,

Jay Solomon
Chief Communications & Public Affairs Officer

Nature vs. Nurture, and Nate Deserves Our Anger

Nature vs. Nurture, and Nate Deserves Our Anger

Weekly D’var: Toldot 5782 by Scott Goldstein

[Warning: Ted Lasso show spoiler] I just finished watching the second season of Ted Lasso, and I cannot get the image of the finale out of my head. Haven’t seen it yet? That’s ok, I’ll recap part of this week’s Torah portion as you go catch up and then tie it in at the end for when you get back.

When not detailing the intricate politics of well-digging and water rights, this week’s Torah portion takes some time to highlight our favourite biblical twins – Jacob and Esav (a.k.a. Esau). Some may even refer to this as the first twin study on “Nature vs. Nurture” (shoutout to my psychology peeps) ever recorded. We are presented with brothers that were raised in the same environment but turned out to be polar opposites. I’ll let you read the riveting stories of birthright transactions and elaborate deceptions on your own, but the narrative we are presented with is clear: Jacob is good, and Esav is bad. Here’s the problem I had with this narrative: If Esav was raised in a good environment, but still did bad things, then is the Torah telling us that our destiny is sealed by nature?

I just finished watching Ted Lasso, and I cannot help but think about how loveable Nate (played by Nick Mohammed) is a perfect example of what I think our Torah portion is trying to tell us. Ted Lasso (played masterfully by Jason Sudeikis) created a nurturing environment where Nate could grow from invisible kit manager to assistant coach that everyone loves. Despite all that, it comes down to the decisions Nate made to allow jealousy to influence his actions, leading him to leave Richmond FC and betray his teammates by joining West Ham United.

I think the story we read in the Torah is reminding us that both nature and nurture are really important (just as science does), but our decisions, ultimately, are our own. Whether it’s Esav going down in history as the ultimate example of bad decision-making or Nate likely being the reason we see Ted cry next season, the lesson is clear… be like Jacob because we can make good decisions no matter the circumstances.

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