A Message from your President, Josh Arbess

A Message from your President, Josh Arbess

My name is Josh, and I am in my third year of the Mechanical Engineering and Society program. Through attending Hillel events and serving on its student executive last year, I have had loads of fun, learned a lot, gained meaningful leadership experience, and made some of my closest friends.

It’s easy to forget about the importance of Jewish community when you get to university. Between classes, labs, midterms, extracurriculars and just being away from home for the first time, it can be hard to feel the same sense of tradition and belonging that you felt at home. McMaster Hillel has made it their mission to give you a Jewish home here at university. However you identify, whether you’ve never been to Israel or have lived there all your life, if hearing the world “shul” gives you the shivers or you go thrice daily, we are your mishpacha (family) on campus.

If you see me at our infamous weekly bagel lunch (browse this website or look at our Facebook page to find out more about this awesome event and others) or just walking around campus, don’t be a stranger and please come say hello. If you have any questions or suggestions about Jewish life at McMaster or would like to get involved, I would be more than happy to discuss

I am looking forward to spending events, shiu’rim, Shabbat dinners, Israel days, conversations over coffee, and more with you. For this year and the ones to follow, I hope to strengthen the McMaster Jewish community and make it a place to grow, learn and have fun.


Josh Arbess

McMaster Hillel President 2019-2020

Dear First Year Me

Dear First Year Me

Written by Michal Coret

Dear First-Year Me,

You probably think Hillel is pretty cool, kinda nice, maybe even fun. You met some friendly people at the Hillel BBQ and felt FOMO each Wednesday when your Inquiry class was from 11:30-2:30 all year round, making you miss Bagel Lunch. Right about this time in first year, you’re stressing out about the chem exam and thinking about transferring out of your program. You feel a bit lost and confused, but excited to move out of Brandon Hall and live on your own… for real this time.

You’re gonna meet the new Hillel Director, Judith, and she will be sweet and lovely from the very start. You’ll get to work with her and maybe even go shopping at IKEA together for Hillel renovations one day (who knows?). And you know what’s the craziest part? You’ll become the Hillel President in your fourth year and it’ll be awesome. It’ll be fulfilling and you’ll get to meet so many new people and work with a dedicated and strong student executive team. You might get a bit tired of making announcements all the time, but then you’ll remember that more announcements means more events, and more events means more food and friends, so it’s okay. And you’ll go to plenty of Bagel Lunches to make up for missing out in first year.

I am now almost graduating and I think back to how much has happened in these last four years, and how much I have grown and learned in my time at Hillel. You know how – because you went to school in Burlington – you never had a Jewish community and so you thought you never needed one? Well that’s changed. You’ve found a Jewish community here at Mac, and wow, are you ever grateful that you did. Enjoy the next couple years and don’t forget to call your mom.

Fourth-Year Me

Michal Coret
McMaster Hillel President 2017-18