Jewish Fitness Bloggers That Will Put A Spring In Your Step

by | Mar 20, 2018 | Entertainment, Fun, Hillel Ontario | 0 comments

As written in the Torah, “When keeping the body in health and vigor, one walks in the way of God.” (Maimonides, Mishneh Torah, Hilchot Deot 4:1). Even Maimonides says that working out and keeping your body in good shape is a way of honouring the physical form and life that we have been given! As we head into Spring, here is a list of five Jewish fitness and health bloggers, which will help you stay motivated to treat your body with respect.

 

@bettersorethansorryy

Raquel and Zoe are two fit kinesiology students, who have found their own way to deal with university stress: workouts. Motivating each other, the fitness duo are hardly ever spotted without one another. Their instagram account offers beautiful inspiration for healthy food bowls, great gyms all over the city, and fun workouts. On @bettersorethansorryy, Raquel and Zoe share their love for good food, yoga, spinning, twinning, and many other fitness related topics.

© bettersorethansorryy


@ihartnutrition

This blog is not just focused on fitness. Jordana Hart, the curator behind @ihartnutrition, is a professional nutritionist with an interest in fitness and lifestyle. Her motto is “Everything in moderation”, so if you ask her, wine and chocolates are allowed too, as long as you don’t overdo it. Check out her blog at www.ihartnutrition.com for deliciously colorful and easy recipes and don’t forget to follow her on Instagram to make sure you don’t miss her most recent posts and fun giveaways.

© ihartnutrition



@kale_and_krunches

Marlie Cohen, the winner of the best ClassPass Instructor of 2017, is the fitness guru behind @kale_and_krunches. This is the perfect blog if you are looking for motivation to live healthily. Her blog posts reach from grocery tips, to nutritious recipes, to work out advice. But that’s not all Marlie writes about. She also shares her thoughts on style, interior design, and beauty. If you want to read more about Marlie Cohen, go to www.kaleandkrunches.com and follow her on Instagram.

© kale_and_krunches

 

@nfitness2017

Noah Schwartz, the fitness trainer who‘s behind @nfitness2017, is a firm believer in “perform – transform – sustain”. With that as his motto, his Instagram profile offers great exercise inspiration. But the Instagram page is just a little sneak peek into his real world. Noah is a hardcore fitness trainer, offering bootcamp classes and HITT training. It’s his goal to “make healthy fun again” as he is convinced that fitness is medicine. If you are looking for some serious workout motivation, or to intensify your workout routine, follow @nfitness2017.

© nfitness2017

 

@sweatandthesix

This Toronto based Instagram account is curated by Elinor and Sarah, two women who will convince you that working out can actually be fun, especially if you’re doing it with a partner. With a variety of different aesthetically pleasing photos, you won’t have to worry that @sweatandthesix will flood your Instagram feed with only workout posts. Their posts include inspirational quotes, health, lifestyle, fitness, food, and beauty related content.

©sweatinthesix

Introducing Our New Staff Members!

Introducing Our New Staff Members!

Every year, we welcome new members to our talented team of Hillel professionals!
This year, we are thrilled to welcome Ashley Murphy, Aviva Davis, Jacob Brickman, Maya Shapira, Miriam Greenberg, Rebecca Ross, Jacqueline Dressler, Sofia Musman and Deborah Pekar.

Read on to get to know them a little better…

 

Ashley MurphyPhoto of: Ashley Murphy - Program Coordinator
Program Coordinator, Hillel Ryerson

Q. What university did you attend?
A. York University
Q. What did you study?
A. Devised Theatre
Q. What is your favourite thing about Jewish holidays?
A. I don’t typically celebrate the holidays, but when I do it is all about good company and good food.
Q. What was your first encounter with Hillel?
A. I was invited by a friend I made in University and I was told Hillel York was THE best place to hangout. After that day, it became the place I felt most at home at York.
Q. What excites you most about working at Hillel?
A. The network of amazing and like-minded people I get to surround myself with on a daily basis.
Q. What is your wish for the upcoming year?
A. To make as many connections as possible, get to know everyone and have fun! 🙂

Photo of: Jared Drewnowsky, VP Philanthropy

Jared Drewnowsky
VP, Philanthropy, Hillel Ontario

Q. What university did you attend?
A. University of Western Ontario
Q. What did you study?
A. I have an Honours Degree in History
Q. What is your favourite thing about Jewish holidays?
A. Time spent with family. It’s always nice to be able to catch up and just sit and talk without the distractions of day-to-day life
Q. What was your first encounter with Hillel?
A. I attended a Hillel dinner in my 2nd year of University. I was introduced to Hillel though a longtime friend who was a year ahead of me. It was a great experience that I wish I’d had early on in my first year.
Q. What excites you most about working at Hillel?
A. I believe that the impact that we can have on young adults at a time when they are really starting to figure out not only who they are but who they want to be is a tremendous privilege.
Q. What is your wish for the upcoming year?
A.
I hope that we finally figure out how to not only be together in person but to stay together in person. I hope that the coming year can be one of bonding and healing as a whole.

 

Photo of: Aviva, Creative StrategistAviva Davis
Creative Strategist, Hillel Ontario

Q. What university did you attend?
A. Emily Carr University of Art and Design
Q. What did you study?
A. Communication Design
Q. What is your favourite thing about Jewish holidays?
A. Getting to spend time with my family
Q. What was your first encounter with Hillel?
A. I went to a Hillel lunch in my 2nd year of university
Q. What excites you most about working at Hillel?
A. Being a part of the Toronto/Ontario Jewish community and making a positive impact in that community
Q. What is your wish for the upcoming year?
A.
To learn a new skill, like coding!

 

Photo of: Jacob, Springboard FellowJacob Brickman
Springboard Fellow, Hillel Waterloo

Q. What university did you attend?
A. Western University
Q. What did you study?
A. Psychology
Q. What is your favourite thing about Jewish holidays?
A. Being together with family over big meals
Q. What was your first encounter with Hillel?
A.
It was a one-on-one coffee chat with Leora Tarshish, who had just arrived at Western as the Senior Jewish Educator and I was going into in my third of five years at Western (never too late to get connected!).
Q. What excites you most about working at Hillel?
A. Building the Jewish student community on campus and empowering students who are already doing fantastic work to plan for the year!
Q. What is your wish for the upcoming year?
A.
More in-person events (with food!) in Waterloo for students to go to.

 

Photo of: Maya, Advocacy CoordinatorMaya Shapira
Advocacy Coordinator, Guelph Hillel & Hillels Waterloo and Laurier

Q. What university did you attend?
A. Queen’s University
Q. What did you study?
A. History with a focus on the cold war and genocides
Q. What is your favourite thing about Jewish holidays?
A. My favourite thing about the Jewish holidays is the connections we make, both strengthening our pre-existing connections with our families and close friends and making new ones with people we haven’t met yet! Especially for the high holidays, it feels like a beginning, and always a really positive way to start off the year.
Q. What was your first encounter with Hillel?
A. My first encounter with Hillel was in University like most students, attending the welcome BBQ for frosh students at Queen’s with a couple of friends I knew from high school.
Q. What excites you most about working at Hillel?
A. What most excites me about working with Hillel is the opportunity to connect with students – especially students who like myself, weren’t really engaged with Hillel in University, but totally could have been!
Q. What is your wish for the upcoming year?
A.
My wish for this upcoming year is for students that are returning to campuses (or arriving for the first time) will find a sense of home and community at Hillel and hopefully normalcy as well.

 

Miriam GreenbergPhoto of Miriam, JLIC
Director, Jewish Learning Initiative (OU/JLIC)

Q. What university did you attend?
A.  I attended York University for my undergraduate degrees and OISE/UofT for my Master’s degree.
Q. What did you study?
A. Psychology and Education for my undergrad and went on to complete an MEd in Special education and adaptive instruction
Q. What is your favourite thing about Jewish holidays?
A. I love the family time and all of the wonderful foods and traditions that bring us together during the holidays
Q. What was your first encounter with Hillel?
A.
My first encounter with Hillel was during my time at York as a student. I enjoyed visiting the Jewish Student Union and meeting new people, as well as reconnecting with familiar faces.
Q. What excites you most about working at Hillel?
A.  I am so excited to develop new relationships, both with colleagues as well as students!
Q. What is your wish for the upcoming year?
A.
I wish for a healthy, productive and interactive year, full of much in person engagement 🙂
   

Deborah PekarPhoto of: Deborah, Business Manager
Business Manager

Q. What university did you attend?
A. Western University
Q. What did you study?
A. Criminology and Sociology
Q. What is your favourite thing about Jewish holidays?
A. Seeing my family and food!!
Q. What was your first encounter with Hillel?
A. During clubs and committee sign up day, there was a Hillel booth and I remember walking over and being welcomed! Everyone was so nice! And, of course, I remember the chicken soup hotline!
Q. What excites you most about working at Hillel?
A. I’m so excited to be working for an organization with such incredible people! Everyone has been so welcoming and I’m ecstatic to begin my journey here!
Q. What is your wish for the upcoming year?
A.
Hopefully that we’re all back in the office and that the world shifts back to normal! 

Jacqueline Dressler
Advocacy Coordinator, Western Hillel

Photo of: Jacqueline, Advocacy Coordinator

Q. What university did you attend?
A. University of Michigan. Go Blue!
Q. What did you study?
A. History and Judaic studies
Q. What is your favourite thing about Jewish holidays?
A. My favourite thing is spending lots of time in the kitchen making my favourite holiday dishes
Q. What was your first encounter with Hillel?
A. My first encounter with Hillel was a Shabbat dinner, I remember it well because it was Chinese food!
Q. What excites you most about working at Hillel?
A.
Having the opportunity to work with such a talented team and our wonderful students! It is really exciting to be a part of an organization that values continuing education and learning opportunities as well.
Q. What is your wish for the upcoming year?
A.
My wish for the upcoming year is that we continue to offer kindness and grace to each other as we navigate our uncertain world and find new and engaging ways to build solidarity and community within our Jewish spaces and outside of them.

 

Rebecca Ross
Springboard Innovation Fellow, Hillel Laurier

Photo of: Rebecca, Springboard Fellow

Q. What university did you attend?
A. Ryerson University
Q. What did you study?
A.
Child and Youth Care (BA)
Q. What is your favourite thing about Jewish holidays?
A.
The bringing of family, community, and friends communally together, all with an underscored shared love and connection to Judaism; ‘being with’ in a meaningful way.
Q. What was your first encounter with Hillel?
A. I can recall that experience clear-as-day! The Program Coordinator for Hillel Ryerson asked me for a coffee chat at Balzacs on Bond/Gould on campus, and in every way possible, they centred in on all the unique parts of my Jewish-ness that, at the time, I felt made me different and/or invaluable to the community. It was the first time in my entire life that I felt like my Jewish identity was being not just acknowledged, but also celebrated and invited into a space.
Q. What excites you most about working at Hillel?
A. Based on the above story, I am most excited to do the exact same for students – celebrate them. I want students at Hillel Laurier-Waterloo to know, and feel, that they can bring their whole selves to an interaction with me, and that those ‘selves’ – many intersecting and overlapping – will be both seen and empowered. I want to be a resource for helping students to continue exploring their Jewish ‘and’ (holistic) identities, and cultivate an ecosystem at Hillel that is shaped by, and reinforced through, student-centred wants and needs.

Q. What is your wish for the upcoming year?
A.
My first wish for the upcoming year is that every single student that longs-for an inclusive Jewish space and/or resource at Laurier is met by our Hillel with open, welcoming arms! For the students that currently are involved, my wish is that I can seamlessly co-create an idea, an event, and/or a space with them that brings them a sense of accomplishment and pride. Most importantly, I want Hillel Laurier-Waterloo to unequivocally reflect all the desires and wishes of its students, whether new or returning. As a Springboard Innovation Fellow, I will quote what I said in my introduction emails to students: “this role will be shaped by all of you” – I truly believe that my efforts for innovation are incomplete without the individual input of what each and every student I work with hopes to see.

 

Sofia Musman
Program Coordinator, Western Hillel

Photo of: Sofia, Program Coordinator

Q. What university did you attend?
A. California State University Long Beach and Fanshawe College
Q. What did you study?
A. Digital Communication
Q. What is your favourite thing about Jewish holidays?
A. Being able to celebrate with family and friends, my favourite holiday is Passover
Q. What was your first encounter with Hillel?
A. First day freshman year, I met a jewish girl (who became my best friend and who also currently works at Hillel) in the dorms, she was talking about her bat mitzvah, I told her I was jewish and she took me to my first Hillel shabbat dinner.
Q. What excites you most about working at Hillel?
A. I was super involved with Hillel during my 4 years of undergrad, and loved it. I’m excited to be involved with it again, and to be able to provide students with a similar experience and I had, which was a home away from home.
Q. What is your wish for the upcoming year?
A.
I wish for this upcoming year to be more positive, to be able to have in person events and more meaningful interactions

Hillel Ontario’s Remarks at Canada’s National Summit on Antisemitism

Hillel Ontario’s Remarks at Canada’s National Summit on Antisemitism

Today, the Government of Canada held a National Summit on Antisemitism.

Convened by The Honourable Bardish Chagger, Minister of Diversity and Inclusion and Youth, and The Honourable Irwin Cotler, Canada’s Special Envoy on Preserving Holocaust Remembrance and Combatting Antisemitism, today’s Summit sought to provide parliamentarians and policymakers a comprehensive understanding of antisemitism in Canada, and identify concrete steps to address the issues facing the Jewish community.

Below is the full transcript of Hillel Ontario’s testimony.

Good afternoon, 

My name is Jay Solomon, and I am the Chief Communications & Public Affairs Officer for Hillel Ontario. 

Supporting approximately 14,000 Jewish students at nine universities across the province, Hillel Ontario – now the largest Hillel in the world – empowers students to make an enduring commitment to Jewish life, learning, and Israel.

This spring, Israel and Hamas – labelled a terrorist group around the world, including in Canada – squared off in the largest military conflict the region has experienced in some years. For both Israelis and Palestinians, the fighting was painful and distressing. 

In the wake of these tensions, around the world, and certainly here in Canada, supporters of Israel have been subjected to vile and sometimes violent vitriol. And, even more concerning, Diaspora Jews have been attacked – verbally and physically, online and in person – simply for being Jewish and regardless of their feelings about or connection to Israel.

As an illustration, I thought I would share just a few recent examples of some of what Jewish students have been subjected to on campuses in Canada in the past few months. At Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, a student posted a video on social media mocking the stabbing of Israelis. Near Western University, in London, a Nazi flag appeared at an anti-Israel rally. At McMaster University in Hamilton, a Jewish student was bullied online for showing support to Israel. And, on the personal social media pages of countless Jewish students across the province, blue squares and other expressions of concern about antisemitism were peppered with comments condemning Israel, levelling personal attacks at the students who posted them, and, in some, threatening physical violence. 

And then there’s the issues posed by student unions and faculty associations who in many cases have replaced informed debate and well-meaning dialogue – the cornerstones of university education – with one-sided rhetoric condensed to 20 second videos and 140-character tweets in an attempt to boil hundreds of years of culture and history into soundbites that are inevitably biased and simplistic. As a recent example, a student group at Western University published incredibly offensive social media commentary calling on the University Student Council to eliminate “all pro-Zionist narrative” from the campus. Another illustrative example involves the President of the University of Toronto Faculty Association who is alleged to have spoken about an “entitled powerful Zionist minority” at a recent academic panel.

These, and other, recent examples of antisemitism are as disturbing as they are unacceptable. Year over year, the Jewish community is the most targeted religious minority for hate crimes in Canada. And, these recent incidents underscore the important efforts that lay ahead – work that must include critical education on antisemitism, and a renewed commitment to relationship-building based on shared values and experiences. 

What many in the Jewish community have known for some time, but have been reluctant to say out loud, has become entirely self-evident in the past several months. We have long since recognized that antisemitism exists on a broad continuum, ranging from those who are simply uninformed, to those who are misinformed, to those who are wilfully ignorant. 

But, there’s another category; and it is one that has been taboo to speak of in many circles for too long. 

The unpopular reality is that some of the world’s worst antisemites (who, it just so happens, are among Israel’s most virulent detractors) embrace this label with malice and intentionality. And it is this type of poisonous, malevolent antisemitism that has been on full display recently. 

As the largest affiliate of the global Jewish student movement, Hillel Ontario’s student leadership and campus professionals have been working around-the-clock to support students who have been shaken by a tsunami of antisemitism online and on campus. 

We have communicated directly with university presidents, provosts, and student union leaders to ensure Jewish students were protected, and that their rights would be respected. We lodged official student code of conduct complaints and filed police reports when Jewish students were targeted; reported countless antisemitic posts on social media; provided personalized pastoral counselling; compiled educational resources and offered learning opportunities for those wanting to learn more; and provided space for students to process their own feelings, emotions and perspectives.

But, the truth is, our efforts on campus alone are not enough. And, we need your help. 

We need our nation’s leaders to come together to forcefully, consistently, and unconditionally condemn antisemitism – in all its forms – and to take proactive steps to secure the safety and security of the Jewish community of Canada, today and for the years to come.

We need formalized learning opportunities across the educational sector – for teachers, professors, administrators, equity officers, student government leaders and those charged with securing and protecting the campus community – to ensure historical and modern perspectives on antisemitism’s manifestations, as well as ways to combat them, are entrenched in and integrated into diversity, equity and inclusion and anti-oppression programming. Education on the perils of antisemitism must become a natural part of DEI and anti-oppression efforts on university campuses.

As a society, we must publicly acknowledge the overlap between antisemitism and anti-Zionism, and recognize that, far too often, anti-Zionism is used as a convenient shield behind which antisemites stand. 

As advocates for the Jewish community, we know that it is acceptable to criticize Israeli policies, or voice legitimate concerns for the welfare of Palestinians. Like any other liberal democracy, Israel is not immune from legitimate criticism. 

But, we also know that fair-game critiques end when Jews are denied the universally held right to collective self-determination; when Jews are held collectively responsible for the actions of the Israeli government; when antisemitic tropes dating back centuries are used to target Jews and Jewish communal institutions; or when comparisons are drawn between Israel and the horrors of the Holocaust. 

We need Canadian leaders to stand with the overwhelming majority of Jewish Canadians in a definition of antisemitism that includes the delegitimization of the Jewish state. Like any other minority group, the Jewish community’s definition of our oppression should be defined by the majority of our community, not fringe elements within it or outside of it. 

We need our nation’s leaders to counter efforts to promote the divisive and discriminatory Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions campaign against Israel, and work to promote dialogue and relationship-building opportunities based upon shared values. 

On behalf of Hillel Ontario, our students, professional staff and lay leadership, I want to offer my sincere thanks to the Government of Canada for convening this National Summit on Antisemitism, and for inviting me to participate in today’s proceedings. 

In the days and weeks ahead, Hillel Ontario stands ready to support the important work that lies ahead; to work in conjunction with the federal, provincial and municipal governments, and with university leadership, to support Jewish students in the ongoing fight against antisemitism. 

Thank you.

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