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.

 

Weekly D’var: Netzavim

Weekly D’var: Netzavim

This week’s parsha, Nitzavim, begins with an expression of the universality of God’s covenant with the Israelites. It wasn’t enough to say ‘all of you’ who are standing before God, rather, we are given a list of all those assembled before Moses as he instructed them before they entered the land of Israel. In this list, we see a hierarchy of social and religious significance; we are told that among those present are tribal leaders, elders, officials, men who have households, children, wives, and ‘strangers’, the servants.

Moses continues to remind the Israelites of God’s actions during their journey out of Egypt, the commandments they have been given, and the consequences of both living by and living against the conditions of the covenant. There are warnings of curses and anger and wrath and promises of blessing and sustenance and reward. This is, at its simplest, Moses’ final attempt to give the Israelites a moral compass, a sense of right and wrong in God’s eyes, as they finally cross into the land promised to their ancestors, but without Moses’ leadership.

There is, in my opinion, one of the most beautiful pieces of language in the Torah towards the end of Moses’ instructions to the Israelites (Deut. 30 12-16):

[This instruction] is not in the heavens, that you should say, “Who among us can go up to the heavens and get it for us and impart it to us, that we may observe it?” Neither is it beyond the sea, that you should say, “Who among us can cross to the other side of the sea and get it for us and impart it to us, that we may observe it?” No, the thing is very close to you, in your mouth and in your heart, to observe it. I set before you this day life and prosperity, death and adversity. For I command you this day, to love your God, to walk in God’s ways, and to keep God’s commandments, God’s laws, and God’s rules, that you may thrive and increase, and that your God may bless you in the land that you are about to enter and possess.

As Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur near again, this week’s parsha is a reminder that when we are celebrating, showing humility and remorse, asking one another and God for forgiveness, we are equal. The opportunity to act righteously, care for ourselves and others around us, and enjoy prosperity is accessible and within the reach of every one of us, regardless of privilege and position, as is the opportunity near to us to turn from our misdeeds and transgressions towards goodness in the new year.

Shanah Tovah U’metuka
A Happy and Sweet 5783!

A New Hillel Home in Kingston!

A New Hillel Home in Kingston!

Kingston, ON – September 21, 2022

For 50 years, the Otterburn House in Kingston, Ontario was the home of Queen’s Hillel. Since 2018, however, Queen’s Hillel has been without a permanent location, necessitating the use of temporary rental space on-campus.

Over the past year, Beth Israel Synagogue invested in an intensive rejuvenation project to give the Otterburn House its first major update since 1992. Today, with the invaluable support of two community visionaries, we are excited to share that our Queen’s Hillel staff, Yos and Leora Tarshish, will be making the Otterburn House both their own home, and a renewed base for Queen’s Hillel. By creating a welcoming community grounded in their own lives, Yos and Leora will serve as a model for what Jewish living in all of its dimensions can be, and leverage the successful models of Base and Moishe House.

On behalf of Hillel Ontario, Chief Executive Officer, Rabbi Seth Goren said the following:

“Hillel Ontario has been striving to ensure that Queen’s Hillel once again had a space to meaningfully engage Jewish students in Kingston. Yos and Leora Tarshish have been working tirelessly to nurture strong and resilient Jewish students, build innovative micro-communities, and empower the next generation of community advocates. With the invaluable support of community philanthropists who are committed to the Kingston community, and to the future of Jewish students at Queen’s, Hillel Ontario could not be more pleased to see Hillel once again have a permanent home in Kingston.”

On behalf of Queen’s Hillel, Director, Yos Tarshish said the following:

“Leora and I are incredibly excited to be moving into the Otterburn House, and welcoming a new generation of Jewish students into a space that holds such a special place in the history of Queen’s Hillel. The space has been lovingly restored by the hard work of the Beth Israel Otterburn Committee, led by Arnie Palmer, Michael Springer, Richard Kizell and Mark Malinoff, and it is a true testament to the vigour and tenacity of the Kingston Jewish community. Jewish student life has been steadily growing in Kingston for more than a decade, and Hillel is at the forefront of ensuring that the Jewish community on campus is both vibrant and inclusive. We are honoured to engage Jewish students on campus in Kingston, and are immensely grateful for the opportunity to bring Hillel activities back to Otterburn.”

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Hillel Ontario is the largest regional Hillel in the world, serving nine universities, with a combined Jewish student population of 14,000.

For additional information, please contact:

Jay Solomon
Chief Communications & Public Affairs Officer
jay.solomon@hillelontario.org

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