Press Release: Jewish students band together to implement Holocaust Education Week on campus

by | Dec 12, 2016 | Press Release | 0 comments

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

December 12, 2016

Toronto, ON- On Tuesday, November 29th, at the Ryerson Student Union’s (RSU) Semi-Annual General Meeting (SAGM), a Jewish student introduced a motion to implement Holocaust Education Week on campus. While the motion was being debated, students were heard making derogatory comments towards Jewish students. A walk-out followed ensuring that quorum would not be met. This deeply disturbing incident has taken an emotional toll on the students involved.

Holocaust Education Week is devoted to learning about the unique events that took place during the Holocaust, affecting not only the Jewish community, but also many other minority communities. A full week dedicated to learning about the Holocaust reinforces the importance of educating students on this dark time in history, helping to ensure these tragic events do not repeat themselves in the future.

StandWithUs Canada, Hillel Ryerson, and Students Supporting Israel (SSI) at Ryerson are very proud of the Jewish students for their leadership and their commitment to resolving this matter. Over the past week, our students have been in constant contact with the RSU and are very pleased with how supportive the RSU has been. As well, Ryerson University’s President, Mohamed Lachemi, reached out in support of the students and has been working with various Ryerson faculty members to ensure that Holocaust Education Week is implemented on campus.

StandWithUs Canada, Hillel Ryerson and SSI at Ryerson commend the RSU for speaking out against what happened at the SAGM. They have now agreed to take steps, along with the Ryerson administration, to ensure Holocaust Education Week will be implemented on campus and to combat anti-semitism.

StandWithUs Canada, Hillel Ryerson and SSI have made significant strides in working together as a community to support our student leaders, and are committed to ensuring the safety of all students at Ryerson University.

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Hillel strives to inspire every Jewish student in Ontario to make an enduring commitment to Jewish life, learning, and Israel.

For more information, please contact:

Ilan Orzy

Associate Director, Advocacy

Hillel Ontario

416.913.2424 ext.3004

ilan.orzy@hillelontario.org

Zina Rakhamilova
Canadian Campus Coordinator

StandWithUs Canada

416 887 2224
zinar@standwithus.com

Hillel International Student Cabinet 2021-2022

Hillel International Student Cabinet 2021-2022

Jordan Goldenberg, Ryerson University ‘23 and Leah Goldschmidt, York University ‘22, are representing Canadian Jewish students on Hillel International’s global stage. Here’s how they’re enhancing the Canadian Jewish campus experience for years to come:

This year I was fortunate enough to be selected to participate on  the Hillel International Student Cabinet, as one of two Canadian representatives. I am honoured to join the board of  22 students from the United States of America, Israel, Russia and Brazil. 

Over the years, I have been very active in Hillel at York University, and was thrilled when Hillel York’s staff approached me about the opportunity to bring my enthusiasm and passion for Hillel on an international scale. 

Hillel has always been a safe space for me — somewhere I could go to feel comfortable about my Jewish identity, but also a place where I could meet other Jews on campus; some who have become my best friends. Although I only recently joined the Student Cabinet, I can genuinely say I have met some of the most incredible students and staff who are so passionate about the Hillel movement.

I am constantly amazed by the work Hillel students are doing around the world to support and connect the next generation of our community.. We have members who have founded their own Hillels at colleges with barely any Jews, members who are advocates for the LGBTQ+ community and have launched successful international LGBTQ+ cohorts, and members who are doing tremendous work in combating antisemitism. Being around such passionate and motivating students has inspired me to go after my own aspirations within Hillel; creating space for Jews with disabilities. 

As a student with a disability, I am very passionate about expanding space for Jews with disabilities, and while Hillel has taken great strides to increase accessibility and inclusivity; there’s lots more we can do. Hillel has given me incredible resources and support to launch my own projects within this space.

I am thrilled to be representing Canada in this incredible opportunity, and am looking forward to the year ahead.

Leah Goldschmidt, Hillel York

My name is Jordan Goldenberg, and I am a third-year student at Ryerson University studying business management. I am also the President of Hillel Ryerson. The Cabinet is made up of students from around the world, working towards the common goal of engaging Jewish university and college students worldwide. The role of the Cabinet is to serve as a voice for Jewish students and a means of connection to the worldwide Hillel movement. Being part of the collective voice means everything to me, and I am excited to be that voice for Jewish students amplifying Canada and Hillel Ontario’s role on the global stage. 

At the beginning of October,  I had the opportunity to go to DC with the Hillel International Student Cabinet. It was an incredible experience to collaborate with and learn from a variety of leaders in the Jewish community and the Hillel movement. I learned so much from our two student co-chairs, fellow cabinet members and Hillel professionals. We had the chance to get to know the greater Hillel movement through meetings with staff members from various departments and positions within Hillel International; including, but not limited to, the communications teams, board members, the CEO, Adam Lehman, and many more. We spoke at great lengths about the role each of our local Hillels play on our campuses and what we can learn from one another. Since the summit, we have already hit the ground running, with many students taking on various projects at both the local and international levels. I learned so much about the global Hillel movement and how to be a better leader for Jewish students on campus and in the community.

I have always been passionate about bringing people together and there is no better way to do so than collaborating with Jewish students and Hillel’s internationally. This international collaboration allows us to share our common values while celebrating our differences in order to create the best Hillel atmosphere and programming possible.

Jordan Goldenberg, Hillel Ryerson

 

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.

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