This week, the Jewish world welcomes 5782; a new year that is filled with promise and hope.
Rosh Hashanah signifies new beginnings; an opportunity to reset, refocus and recommit to the year ahead. It also offers the chance to declare our individual and collective responsibilities within the Jewish community.
The work of Hillel Ontario has never been more important than it is today, and we are tremendously optimistic about all we can accomplish together in this coming year.
But, it will not be business as usual.
It is with truly mixed emotions that I share that this year will be our last with Marc Newburgh as Hillel Ontario’s extraordinary Chief Executive Officer. After spending 30 years in Canada, Marc, and his wife Cheryl, have decided to move back to the United States. A pillar of our organization for nearly a decade, we will be forever indebted to Marc for his vision and leadership in building Hillel Ontario into what it is today. In the coming months, we will begin a process to identify our next CEO, and to establish a legacy fund to help us celebrate and build upon the foundation Marc has so capably lay.
We have a lot of work to do in the months ahead.
This year, we will enhance our efforts to support and empower the next generation of Jewish leaders, to foster pride in our collective identity, and to combat antisemitism wherever and whenever it rears its ugly head. This work is core to our mission and a part of everything we do.
We will prioritize initiatives that support students’ mental wellness, utilize new technologies to reach students beyond their campuses and ingrain a connection that lasts through the transition from classroom to workforce. And, we will invest in our talent, and their respective skills, to ensure we remain representative of the ever-more diverse student population we serve.
Several times during the high holiday season, Jews around the world chant hineini, “here I am,” an affirmation of our duty to respond when called upon.
As we begin a new year, we will once again answer hineini, acknowledging our individual and collective commitment to Hillel’s righteous work and the students we so proudly serve.
I want to offer my sincere appreciation for your ongoing support of Hillel. Your friendship is invaluable, and we couldn’t do it without you.
Shanah Tova U’metukah – wishing you and your families a sweet, happy, and healthy new year.
Chair, Hillel Ontario’s Board of Directors