Welcome Back!

Welcome Back!

Written By: Jemma Kaczanowicz

Welcome Gael’s!

As the Program Coordinator for Queen’s Hillel, I’m excited to welcome you to another school year!

Hillel is a unique organization within the Jewish university experience. We offer space for students of all backgrounds to explore their Jewish identity and community on their own terms. Whether this is through socializing, engaging with others about Israel, working with Hillel staff and student exec to come up with innovative programming, or celebrating Jewish rituals, there is a place for everyone at Queen’s Hillel.

During the 2019-2020 school year, Queen’s Hillel will be offering a variety of programming from Shabbat dinners, Holocaust Education Week, welcoming special guests to campus, participating in the second year of Out of Sync, and more! I want to hear from YOU about the type of events you would like for us to bring to Kingston, so please reach out to me with your suggestions.

Becoming involved with Hillel at Queen’s University is an opportunity to explore your Jewish community while at university. Hillel is FOR students so, without your participation and input, we can not be nearly as successful!  So please reach out if you are interested in helping to make Queen’s Hillel fantastic this year!

I can always be found out and about on campus, tabling at events, hosting programs, or stop by our NEW club space in the JDUC Room 221. As I am still relatively new to Kingston, I am taking every opportunity I can to speak with Queen’s students to learn about what they would like to see on campus, to hear your Jewish story or to have you tell me all of your favourite places to grab coffee!  Please reach out to me at jemma.kaczanowicz@hillelontario.org if you would like to chat.

I wish you the best as you start another year of learning, growth, and exciting opportunities.


I Wouldn’t Trade it for Anything

I Wouldn’t Trade it for Anything

Written by Sydney Wilson, Media Intern

This past month has been one of much excitement here at Queen’s Hillel. We started off with a new and improved (and incredibly successful) version of our annual Bat/Bar Mitzvah Bash, celebrating our lovely presidents, Charlotte and Remi. With drinks, dancing, and tons of excitement, the night went off perfectly and we’re already gearing up to do it again next year! Besides Bar Mitzvah Bash, we’ve also been active with weekly lunchtime learning sessions and, most recently, an Israeli food cooking night. Students worked in teams to make a delicious dinner of shakshuka, Israeli salad, grilled eggplant, and some other awesome treats.

As a graduating student, spending my final month as a member of Queen’s Hillel has been bittersweet. Four years ago, I came to this school knowing only a few people my own age. Although apprehensive about going to that first Hillel Shabbat, I can still remember how quickly I was accepted into the Queen’s Jewish community and the pride I took in aligning myself with such an inclusive environment. From Frosh Rep to Social Media Intern, I’ve explored many aspects of what Queen’s Hillel has to offer.

I’ve worked alongside two Hillel directors, I’ve seen executive structures shift and evolve, I’ve made friends from every graduating class, and I’ve had my hand in important events from Shabbat dinner to Bar Mitzvah Bash. Throughout the past four years, Queen’s Hillel has truly been a source of stability, fun, education, and friendship for me and I wouldn’t trade those for anything.

Thank you to all of the people who have worked tirelessly to make Hillel our Jewish home on campus. I think I speak for many graduating students when I say we’re going to miss you!

Reflections on an Israel Experience

Reflections on an Israel Experience

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!