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.

 

Something New

Something New

The fall post-holiday period is always a good time for launching new things. To the extent we’re not completely exhausted, our five-day work weeks are back (instead of five days of work crammed into three-day weeks), and we’re able to get into something of a rhythm and build momentum in moving toward specific goals.

Adding to the sense of newness and adventure, the third post-holidays Torah portion of Lekh Lekha, which was read this past Shabbat, begins with Abraham receiving divine instructions to leave his home and begin a journey to a new land.  Commentators highlight the uncertainty inherent in the command’s wording: instead of being directed to a specific place, Abraham, at least initially, is told to go “to the land that I will show you,” a vague and undisclosed destination. While he is promised blessings galore for his obedience, setting out requires an element of faith and quite a bit of trust as he leaves his home land and father’s house for somewhere new.

While it’s certainly several orders of magnitude smaller than the journey Abraham undertook, Hillel Ontario is trying something new this week: we’re introducing a new section to our regular newsletters and will be including a d’var Torah to showcase our students’ and staff’s skills and present our readers with a bit of Jewish learning. We hope you’ll find these commentaries inspiring and meaningful and that they’ll provide a glimpse of the Hillel Ontario community that spans our nine campuses.

A Message from Hillel Ontario’s Student Presidents

A Message from Hillel Ontario’s Student Presidents

Dear students, parents, supporters, and other members of the Ontario Jewish community,

We are writing to you as the Hillel presidents representing nine universities across Ontario. 

We are often asked what it’s like to be a Jewish student on campus. And, in previous years, we would have taken a more upbeat approach to answering that question. The truth is that things have changed over the past 5 months.

Prior to this spring’s war in Israel, we had never experienced the level of vitriol and backlash that we did recently. We were caught off guard. Many Jewish students lost friendships and severed connections that had been created over many years. Our mental health was stretched to the limit; we have felt burnt out, isolated and anxious.  Even now, with autumn upon us, we are still feeling the exhausting effects of a summer spent advocating for the well-being of our fellow Jewish students. 

Walking back onto campus this week, it was difficult to see some students obviously (and understandably) anxious – both because of the pandemic, and because of the antisemitism Jewish students have experienced over the past several months. At the same time, we also feel more empowered than ever to proclaim pride in our Jewish identity, bolstered by the tremendous support we have felt from across the community.  

Whether you are a first year student, a parent, a sibling, an alum, or simply a member of the community concerned about what seems like an endless barrage of attacks aimed at Jewish students on campus, we want to assure you that as Hillel presidents, we are deeply committed to our roles and responsibilities. We hear your concerns. And, we are proud to serve the current and future Jewish students we support.  

We are working to build relationships with student governments, clubs, interfaith groups, faculty, and administrators on each of our campuses. We continue to empower our peers to learn, to educate, and to advocate for the issues close to our hearts. And, we continue to provide a safe and welcoming community for Jewish students, both on and off campus. 

We also seek to increase resources and staff available to our students so that no one feels unsupported or ill-prepared. We want Jewish students to feel like they can be their entire selves without having to hide a Magen David or avoid conversations about Judaism, Zionism or Israel. 

As we move into a new Jewish year and a new school year, we wish we could say with more certainty exactly what is to come in the next few months. However, it would be naive to do so. Instead, we would like to take this opportunity to commit to you that we will continue to have challenging, but necessary, dialogue with allies across campus. We will continue to support our peers when they feel uncomfortable. And, we will continue to ask for help when we need it. 

Time and time again, our collective history has proven that in a proud, empowered, and united community there is strength, and that from one another we can draw resilience. 

L’shana Haba on quieter, more inclusive campuses. 

Ariel Oren, Guelph Hillel
Evan Kanter, Hillel Student Leader Representative, Hillel UofT
Nathaniel Katz, Queen’s Hillel
Shira Miller, Hillel Laurier
Danielle Lebowitz, Hillel Waterloo
Hannah Silverman, McMaster Hillel
Jordan Goldenberg, Hillel Ryerson
Isabel Borisov, Western Hillel
Nicole Bodenstein, York Hillel

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