Meet Bev

by | Sep 14, 2017 | Fun, Hillel Ontario | 0 comments

 

Who Are You?

Name: Bev Shimansky

Position:  Chief Campus Officer

Hometown: Montreal, Quebec

Where did you go to college/university?  Mcgill University, Wurzweiler School of Social Work at Yeshiva University & Spertus College

 

Joining the Family

What is your role at Hillel? My primary role is to supervise and nurture the campus Directors and the Content team so they can create and enhance a vibrant Jewish life on campus. Through ongoing training, outcome driven goal setting and meaningful conversations, I hope to support our professionals as they develop their skills, innovate, stretch beyond their comfort zone and grow Jewishly.  Our strategic plan is incredibly thoughtful and extremely impressive. The mission and vision of Hillel Ontario inspires me deeply and I look forward to working closely with my colleagues to ensure that our priorities are anchored in our day to day work on campus and in our communities.  

What are you *most* excited for this year?  So many things! Hillel Ontario is an inspiring organization and I am so excited to be a part of this dream team! The commitment to recruiting & retaining talent is amazing! I love working in a culture that has a start-up feel anchored in real professionalism. There is room to innovate, take risks and pilot new ideas. Our branding is amazing, the organization looks and feels fresh and engaging. Our commitment to education is core to our work and we are collaborating with all our educators to ensure that our students will have meaningful and relevant pluralistic experiences. Lastly, I’m so excited to join the Ontario Jewish community. I’ve had such a warm welcome and it’s been so wonderful learning about the nuances of each campus and their unique communities.

What’s one thing nobody at Hillel knows about you?  I have dual citizenship in Canada and Israel

What do you think you bring to the team? I bring over a decade of Hillel experience, a heart filled with passion for this work, a ton of deep relationships with key stakeholders,  a soul full of Yidishkeit and a deep desire to strengthen the Jewish Student Community!

 

Personal Favourites

Favourite Movie: Toss up between Fiddler on the Roof and The Intern

Best Toppings on a Pizza: Onions, Black Olives, Green Pepper and Feta

Favourite Jewish Holiday: Passover – So many family traditions!

Dream “Getaway” Destination: Bali

Song Title that Best Describes you: Forever Young

The Animal that best describes me is:  A Jewish Dog 🙂

Challah – Raisin or Plain? Multigrain!

Favourite Hamentashen Filling: Prune

Annamie Paul Joins Hillel Ontario

Annamie Paul Joins Hillel Ontario

Last month Hillel Ontario heard from Annamie Paul, leader of the Green Party of Canada. After winning the leadership race back in October of 2020, Annamie became the first Black person and first Jewish woman to lead a federal Canadian political party. Since then, she has been speaking to Canadians all across the country, spreading messages of hope and inspiration, during a time where these moments are a rarity. No matter the political orientation of the Zoom attendees of this fireside chat, everyone walked away with a few life lessons up their sleeve.

Here are some of my biggest takeaways. First, Annamie spoke about following your passion, a message that I know many students needed to hear. When I graduated from grade 12, I was constantly asked where I saw myself in five years, ten years, and sometimes even twenty years. Although I was asked with the best intentions, I’ve always felt overwhelming pressure to envision a clear career path. Annamie dispelled this myth by referencing the enjoyment associated with the process of discovering your passion rather than having a final goal in mind, and Annamie’s enthusiasm for human rights through a policy lens has shaped the course of her life. Second, Annamie spoke about the importance of speaking up in the face of injustice. Whether you consider yourself an advocate or not, Annamie highlighted the need to follow your moral compass, never remaining complicit. Following Annamie’s time as the leader of the Green Party, it is clear that she isn’t afraid to use her voice and position to shine light on racism, antisemitism, and sexism. These are two lessons I think everyone can learn from.

Annamie spoke about growing up in Toronto Centre (the riding where she will be running in the next federal election), her career as an international lawyer, and her decision to enter politics. As someone who doesn’t fit the mold of a traditional politician, Annamie referenced about the challenges that she’s faced as a Black, Jewish woman. Racism, antisemitism, and sexism were all constant throughout her leadership campaign, and her six months leading the Green Party. 

Throughout Annamie’s talk, I learned about the importance of elevating voices that have previously gone unheard. In a predominantly white space, Hillel students and staff need to work hard to ensure that Jews of Colour feel welcomed. 

After 45 minutes, the latter half of which consisted of an insightful Q&A, Annamie mentioned that she would love to be invited back to another Hillel Ontario fireside chat. For now, I’ll take Annamie’s lessons with me while looking forward to hearing about all of her accomplishments in a year from now.

  • Skylar Banks, Guelph Hillel
Collaboration Breeds Diversity and Inclusion

Collaboration Breeds Diversity and Inclusion

Collaborating with other student organizations allows us to diversify the students at our events, build coalitions, establish good rapport with other student groups and broaden the topics of the content that we deliver. 

This past month, we had the privilege of working with the Waterloo and Laurier chapters of Menstruation Redefined, which is committed to helping with the “institutional and social barriers surrounding menstruation that risk the health, well-being, and daily lives of many.” This mission resonated with us at Hillel because we understand the importance of diversity, equity and inclusion for all. These are values that we hold as Jews, and want to embody at Hillel. 

We joined forces to produce a fun evening of trivia and learning. The event allowed us to reach new students, educate others on Jewish practice for those who menstruate, and learn more about Menstruation Redefined’s mission. Collaborative events like this allow us to understand key issues and causes that other student-run campus groups advocate for and to build strong allyships and ensure that we propel Hillel’s values forward, such as inclusion and equity.

Jessica Bloom, HIllel Waterloo Student President
Veronica Grad, Hillel Laurier Student President

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