Happy Channukah from Hillel Ontario’s Board of Directors

by | Dec 23, 2016 | Hillel Board, Hillel Ontario, Jewish Holiday | 0 comments

Written by Micki Mizrahi, Chair

Rabbi Hillel declared: “A single candle can light a thousand more without diminishing itself.” Tomorrow night, the Jewish world along with Jewish students who have been impacted by their campus Hillel, most of whom are home with their families, will be lighting the Chanukah candles. We will witness that the Shamash flame will not be diminished as it lights the first candle.

Hillel Ontario’s Board of Directors wanted to reflect on the accomplishments that our talented Hillel professionals have supported and executed, and share our collective successes from 2016. These achievements have demonstrated that one candle, one student, one Hillel professional, one volunteer, one Hillel partner organization, can light many other candles, students, Hillel professionals, volunteers, and Hillel partner organizations without diminishing itself. These lights that are strong enough to influence and inspire thousands are:

  • The innovative student who impacted over 3000 students at Guelph University when she organized a replica of a German cattle car to be on campus during Holocaust Education Week
  • The highest attended AGM and largest community event to date where Eric Fingerhut, President and CEO of Hillel International discussed the trends, successes, and challenges across university Campuses. He was joined at the community event with Adam Minsky (President and CEO, UJA Federation of Greater Toronto), Shimon Fogel (Executive Director, CIJA) and Marc Newburgh (CEO, Hillel Ontario)
  • The group of community lay and professional leaders who helped develop the brand new Hillel Ontario Strategic Plan to launch our regional Hillel as the largest one in the world and has now been used as a model of excellence at Hillel International Board of Directors meetings and the JFNA General Assembly (where we sponsored 5 Hillel student leaders to participate in the conference)
  • The partnering with CIJA to help the anti-BDS Motion at Queen’s Park succeed where in 48 hours, Hillel students were mobilized and actively helped provincial MPPs understand the importance of their positive vote
  • The winning an award from Hillel International for our fundraising initiative On One Foot, which has now been adopted by campuses all over North America.

On behalf of our devoted Board of Directors, I’d like to thank the remarkable Marc Newburgh and all of the Hillel Ontario professionals, student leaders and generous donors who are ensuring that Jewish life on campus is strong and vibrant and as bright as the beautifully lit Chanukiah.

All my best,
Micki Mizrahi, Chair, Hillel Ontario Board of Directors

 

Board of Directors: Marcy Abramsky, Michael Diamond, Yona Elishis, Daniel Ferman, Yael Karol, Noah Kochman, Michael Kuhl, Pamela Kuhl, Leanne Matlow, Henry Morton, Jeremy Pertman, Ed Prutschi, Stephen Shore, Allan Weinbaum

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.

Hillel International Student Cabinet 2021-2022

Hillel International Student Cabinet 2021-2022

Jordan Goldenberg, Ryerson University ‘23 and Leah Goldschmidt, York University ‘22, are representing Canadian Jewish students on Hillel International’s global stage. Here’s how they’re enhancing the Canadian Jewish campus experience for years to come:

This year I was fortunate enough to be selected to participate on  the Hillel International Student Cabinet, as one of two Canadian representatives. I am honoured to join the board of  22 students from the United States of America, Israel, Russia and Brazil. 

Over the years, I have been very active in Hillel at York University, and was thrilled when Hillel York’s staff approached me about the opportunity to bring my enthusiasm and passion for Hillel on an international scale. 

Hillel has always been a safe space for me — somewhere I could go to feel comfortable about my Jewish identity, but also a place where I could meet other Jews on campus; some who have become my best friends. Although I only recently joined the Student Cabinet, I can genuinely say I have met some of the most incredible students and staff who are so passionate about the Hillel movement.

I am constantly amazed by the work Hillel students are doing around the world to support and connect the next generation of our community.. We have members who have founded their own Hillels at colleges with barely any Jews, members who are advocates for the LGBTQ+ community and have launched successful international LGBTQ+ cohorts, and members who are doing tremendous work in combating antisemitism. Being around such passionate and motivating students has inspired me to go after my own aspirations within Hillel; creating space for Jews with disabilities. 

As a student with a disability, I am very passionate about expanding space for Jews with disabilities, and while Hillel has taken great strides to increase accessibility and inclusivity; there’s lots more we can do. Hillel has given me incredible resources and support to launch my own projects within this space.

I am thrilled to be representing Canada in this incredible opportunity, and am looking forward to the year ahead.

Leah Goldschmidt, Hillel York

My name is Jordan Goldenberg, and I am a third-year student at Ryerson University studying business management. I am also the President of Hillel Ryerson. The Cabinet is made up of students from around the world, working towards the common goal of engaging Jewish university and college students worldwide. The role of the Cabinet is to serve as a voice for Jewish students and a means of connection to the worldwide Hillel movement. Being part of the collective voice means everything to me, and I am excited to be that voice for Jewish students amplifying Canada and Hillel Ontario’s role on the global stage. 

At the beginning of October,  I had the opportunity to go to DC with the Hillel International Student Cabinet. It was an incredible experience to collaborate with and learn from a variety of leaders in the Jewish community and the Hillel movement. I learned so much from our two student co-chairs, fellow cabinet members and Hillel professionals. We had the chance to get to know the greater Hillel movement through meetings with staff members from various departments and positions within Hillel International; including, but not limited to, the communications teams, board members, the CEO, Adam Lehman, and many more. We spoke at great lengths about the role each of our local Hillels play on our campuses and what we can learn from one another. Since the summit, we have already hit the ground running, with many students taking on various projects at both the local and international levels. I learned so much about the global Hillel movement and how to be a better leader for Jewish students on campus and in the community.

I have always been passionate about bringing people together and there is no better way to do so than collaborating with Jewish students and Hillel’s internationally. This international collaboration allows us to share our common values while celebrating our differences in order to create the best Hillel atmosphere and programming possible.

Jordan Goldenberg, Hillel Ryerson

 

X