Your 2019 Guelph Hillel Presidential Candidates!

Your 2019 Guelph Hillel Presidential Candidates!


We are Marissa Kachuck & Yonatan Fortisnky and Josh Small & Hannah Finkelstein and we are running as your next Hillel Co-Presidents.

It is important to us that every student’s opinion is acknowledged and appreciated. We believe that every student has a unique and important perspective to contribute for the success and growth of the organization. Voting in the upcoming presidential election is crucial for the success of Hillel because of the importance that YOU the students have a say in the leadership of Hillel and the impact it have on our community. The ball is now in your court and we hope you take the time to vote on Monday and show us, through popular opinion, who you think should take on this leadership role and what areas of the organization you, as students, believe are important to focus on developing.

Josh Small and Hannah Finkelstein have said that they wish to focus on the areas of engaging more new students, as well as continuing to keep these students interested in attending events and being involved. They also wish to focus on developing ways to encourage feedback from the general public on how to improve Hillel. Lastly, they have said that they wish to focus on engaging Guelph Hillel as part of a larger organization rather than strictly Guelph. They plan to do this by implementing inter-campus events, where Guelph students can learn and improve from areas that other Hillel’s might have already experienced success.

Yoni Fortinsky and Marissa Kachuck have said they wish to reach out to members of the Jewish community and its allies to learn how, as co-presidents, they can improve Hillel and make it more open for everyone. They aim to create a system for all students to provide feedback about the quality of events experienced as well as anything they wish to see added, changed or improved. They would also like to enhance the experience of Shabbat and the feeling of community by offering an optional Tisch (sing-along session) after Shabbat dinners. Finally, they strive to offer more educational events and trainings with outside speakers for the leadership board and beyond.

A Bright Future

A Bright Future

Written by Shelby Mawson, Gila Cotler & Nevo Schpire, Guelph Hillel Staff

The atmosphere here at Guelph Hillel is one of excitement and anticipation. Both staff and students can feel it and we are all looking forward to the upcoming school year. One of the many reasons for so much joy is just how much we have grown over the years. We have now reached the point where, for the first time ever, a new staff position has been introduced at Guelph Hillel. We are excited to introduce Shelby Mawson as the first ever Program Coordinator for Guelph Hillel. Shelby is an innovative, passionate professional whose eagerness for engagement has already inspired a number of initiatives that we look forward to implementing. In addition, we are incredibly excited to introduce Nevo Schpire as the new Israel fellow for both Guelph and McMaster. A dedicated, hard-working team member, Nevo brings a love for establishing dialogue with students along with a host of fresh ideas that benefit everyone.

With the incredible leadership of our Co-presidents of Guelph Hillel, Riley Noik and Marissa Kachuck, we held our training for Guelph Hillel Executive members this past Tuesday, August 28th, 2018. Between the moments of sharing our summer stories and reminiscing, we had the wonderful opportunity to delve deeply into what it was that Hillel meant for everybody there. We discussed the past, present, but most importantly, the future of Guelph Hillel. The obligations and commitments of Executive members were made completely clear, as was the enduring commitment Hillel had for Executive members and all Jewish students. We engaged in team building exercises as well as brainstorming ideas for upcoming events. Throughout the day, the thoughtful answers that our Executive team gave to the questions asked made us all feel incredibly lucky to get to work with such an amazing team. We finished the day with an incredibly fun team-building activity in an escape room!

The future here at Guelph Hillel is a bright one. With the start of the school year corresponding with Rosh Hashanah, it truly is a time of new beginnings in so many ways. With new beginnings comes the opportunity for fresh ideas and an abundance of wonderful opportunities. A new beginning does not entail unilateral discardment of the old. Rather, it is an opportunity for us all to use the past as a way to prepare for each of our new beginnings. We do not forget the past, but neither do we allow it to hold us back. Reflecting on our past as an organization, as a community, and as a family, we look toward the future with eagerness and anticipation.

From all of us in Guelph to you at home, we wish you a Shana Tova U’Metukah.

Oh, What a Ride! My 4 Years with Guelph Hillel

Oh, What a Ride! My 4 Years with Guelph Hillel

Written by Ethan Avinoam, Student President at Guelph Hillel 2017/2018

How fast time flies! I remember my first year of university like it was just yesterday. It was a whirlwind, but the perfect blend of fast-paced academic action, and incredible social experiences that made you want to pause time entirely. One of the most important aspects of my transition from high school to university was seeking out and settling in a new Jewish community and maintaining my own routine and Jewish lifestyle. This was my gateway to finding a home at Hillel, the defining element of my undergraduate career and one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve ever had the privilege to be a part of. From the moment I walked into my first event, I could immediately feel the warmth and comfort of others who were just like me, and so eager to connect and collaborate with each other.

By my sophomore year, I had joined the executive team with a new brand, director, and no shortage of uncertainty. From the first team meeting onwards it felt like family, and the incredible things we were able to achieve on campus and within our own community made me proud to be an active Jewish student. I remember thinking to myself after my second year, can this really get any better? I was enjoying my academics, in love with my campus and everything it had to offer (don’t even get me started on the food at UoG!), and had met dozens of amazing new friends through Hillel and AEPi that all had common interests but also unique differences. My personal challenge was finding ways to become more involved and as third and fourth year approached, my motivation to enhance Jewish student life at Guelph increased by the day.

After an incredible third year full of new friends & everlasting memories, I decided to make the jump and take on a leadership role as President for my final year. Looking back, it was one of the best decisions I could have made and working on such an amazing team for the year was fulfilling and humbling. It was a year of firsts, a new approach to our executive team philosophy and a new outlook on how to continue improving and innovating Jewish student life at Guelph. However, none of it would have been possible to conceive without the brilliance of our Director Gila Cotler. Gila has been so much more than just a Director, she has been the catalyst behind the student-led revitalization of Jewish life at the University of Guelph. Gila’s unbelievable work ethic, compassion, perseverance and philosophy have influenced our entire community and set the foundation for years of growth and positive change to come.

It has been such a privilege to work and collaborate with Gila, our amazing Vice President and incoming Co-President Riley Noik who is one of the most creative and intelligent individuals I have ever met, as well as the rest of our team who have made this past year the most memorable and who have inspired me to enjoy every day to the fullest and take risks so that we can all learn and discover more about ourselves and others. A ‘Thank You’ doesn’t come close to describing the extreme gratitude that I have for being able to experience my four years of University in paradise, a nurturing environment with incredible professors, community leaders, but most of all students. It has been an honour, and I can’t wait to see what the future holds.

Signing off for one last time,
Ethan Avinoam