Press Release: Hillel Ontario launches Going Somewhere? The Canadian Guide to Jewish Campus Life

by | May 8, 2017 | Press Release | 0 comments

Monday, May 8, 2017

Toronto, ON – Today, Canadian Hillels in partnership with the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) released Going Somewhere? The Canadian Guide to Jewish Campus Life.

Inspired by the Maclean’s annual university guide, Going Somewhere? provides students with information about Jewish life on more than twenty campuses across Canada, as well as tips on how Jewish students can make the most of their first-year experience.

Going Somewhere? includes campus-by-campus details on everything from Jewish student population numbers, access to kosher food, Jewish studies programs, academic exchanges with Israeli schools, and popular housing locations for Jewish students – as well as Jewish social opportunities, such as holiday parties hosted by Hillel. Going Somewhere? also provides information about Jewish and pro-Israel campus advocacy opportunities, as well as paid internships offered by Hillel.

Marc Newburgh, CEO of Hillel Ontario – the largest Hillel affiliate in Canada and around the world – issued the following statement:

“We are proud to publish the first coast-to-coast Canadian guide to Jewish life on campus. For Jewish students, the university experience provides a unique opportunity to connect with their community, shape their Jewish identity for the long-term, and develop skills by engaging in Jewish and pro-Israel advocacy. Our hope is that Going Somewhere? will prove a valuable resource for students and their families.”

Judy Zelikovitz, Vice President of University and Local Partner Services at CIJA, added:

“CIJA is pleased to have contributed to Going Somewhere? – an outstanding new guide to Jewish life at Canadian universities. As the only Jewish student organization with staff on-the-ground at schools across the country, Hillel offers an unparalleled window into everything Jewish on campus. The practical advice and campus-by-campus details in Going Somewhere? make for required reading for every Jewish student as they consider their options for the fall.”

To download a free copy of Going Somewhere? The Canadian Guide to Jewish Campus Life, visit www.gettheguide.ca.

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Hillel Ontario seeks to inspire every Jewish student in Ontario to make an enduring commitment to Jewish life, learning and Israel. As an affiliate of the largest Jewish student organization in the world, and now the largest global regional Hillel system, Hillel Ontario works to amplify Jewish campus life across nine universities, with a combined Jewish student population of over 13,000.

The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) is the advocacy agent of the Jewish Federations of Canada. CIJA’s Campus Team engages university administrations and faculty while providing innovative resources to Hillels and Jewish students, empowering them to build support for Israel and Jewish causes.

For more information, please contact:

Ilan Orzy
Associate Director, Advocacy
Hillel Ontario
416.913.2424 ext.3004
ilan.orzy@hillelontario.org

Adir Krafman
Manager, Communications and Media Relations
The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA)
416-820-6871
akrafman@cija.ca

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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