24 Things You Need To Pack For Birthright Israel

by | Apr 28, 2017 | Birthright, Entertainment, Hillel Ontario, Israel | 0 comments

School is over and you’re leaving for Israel soon! Now is the time to get everything ready and start packing! Here is a short (or not so short) list of things you don’t want to forget.

  1. Towel
    Because who likes to share a towel?
  2. Deodorant
    Israel is hot, especially in the summer. Do yourself (and others) a favour and avoid BO. Your bus will thank you too.
  3. Hat
    Summer in Israel means hot sun and very little shade. Make sure to pack a hat to keep a cool head.
  4. Water Bottle
    YOU. WILL. NEED. IT.
  5. Pyjamas
    With a long packing list, you might forget the basics. A reminder to pack your PJ’s!
  6. Toothbrush
    … and while you’re at it, don’t forget to pack your toothpaste! We know, your roomie might bring one, but it’s always better to have more than one.
  7. Water shoes
    Because cutting your feet in the Dead Sea really hurts. Trust us, it’s not on your bucket list.
  8. Water Bottle
    And we don’t mean one of those tiny bottles.
  9. Shampoo
    Because ocean water won’t cut it.
  10. Sunscreen
    We all like a good tan, but trust us, the sun in Israel is strong enough to give you a fresh glow, even if you put sunscreen on.
  11. Swimsuit
    Whether it’s the beach, the pool, or the Dead Sea, you will be grateful for every opportunity to take a refreshing break from the Israeli heat.
  12. Water Bottle
    Did you pack it yet?
  13. Chargers
    You surely want to share all your experiences with your friends back home. But how will that work with no power?
  14. Underwear and Socks
    No explanation needed.
  15. Hiking Boots
    Israel has so much to see, and each terrain is prettier than the next. You don’t want to focus on every step you take.
  16. By the way, don’t forget to pack your water bottle!
  17. “Clean” clothes for Shabbat
    Shabbat is the one day/ night that you will want to put on something other than shorts and a t-shirt. Use this opportunity to dress up – ideally in white!
  18. Shorts
    Embrace the farmer’s tan!
  19. Pants/ Sweatpants
    For those chilly desert nights.
  20. In case you still have doubts, you NEED to bring a water bottle.
  21. Many t-shirts
    See deodorant (#2 above).
  22. Adapters*
    What will happen when your phone dies, or when you can’t shave, or straighten your hair?
  23. Camera
    Because we know you want your picture reposted on Hillel Ontario’s social media.
  24. Did we say water yet?
 *Electrical equipment has to be adaptable to 220 volts and have an adapter for the prong. Equipment on a motor (i.e. electric shaver) must be adaptable to 50HZ

For more information please click here.

 

Stronger Together!

Stronger Together!

Over this past Family Day Weekend, I spent a lot of time reflecting both about the challenges we face, but also about the incredible strength and resiliency of this community. Jewish students are often at the forefront of hate and discrimination on campus and online, but we are at our most powerful – and most effective – when we work together as one.

With that in mind, I want to provide several important advocacy updates.

First, I am excited to share that Hillel Ontario has begun convening meetings to coordinate advocacy initiatives amongst Jewish campus organizations across the country. The time has come for Hillel Ontario to lead the way in encouraging cooperation to accomplish the goals we collectively share. Joining us in these monthly discussions are Hillel Montreal, Hillel BC, Hillel Ottawa, CJPAC, Hasbara Fellowships and StandWithUs. We appreciate their willingness to engage with us in these important conversations.

Second, I want to update you on the University of Toronto Students’ Union (UTSU) matter that galvanized much community discussion last week. In addition to endorsing a motion to divest from companies doing business in Israel, the union misrepresented the recently released report of the Antisemitism Working Group and its approach to what does or does not constitute antisemitism. Hillel views these type of divestment motions as part of a wider issue of antisemitism on campus, and we have made that point clearly and consistently to university leadership and members of the Working Group for the better part of the past year.

Late Friday, Working Group members released an important statement, which both criticized the rhetoric of union leaders, and vindicated our belief that hate speech directed at Israel, Israelis or Jews based on actions (real or imagined) of the Israeli government is antisemitism. This is an important moment; one that underscores why our approach to these issues, and the allies we foster across campus are so critical. While we may not be able to stop every divestment motion from passing, we can – and we will continue to – have our voices heard by university leadership to ensure antisemitism remains on the margins. This is precisely what happened last week at the UofT.

Jewish students deserve to study, live and socialize in an environment free from harassment and discrimination. Hillel will continue to condemn antisemitism, defend Israel and our right to self-determination, and build essential relationships on campus to secure the well-being of the students we so proudly serve.

And, we will do so in concert with our allies; because we believe we are stronger together.

Sincerely,

Jay Solomon
Chief Communications & Public Affairs Officer

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.

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