As we approach the end of the fall semester of the 2022/23 school year, and begin to prepare for winter exams, and the holiday season, I want to share several ways in which Hillel Ontario is empowering a (re)surge(ence) in Jewish pride, community, and activism across the nine universities we currently staff. 

Simply stated: this fall semester has been record-breaking.

Year-to-date, we have engaged 2279 Jewish students across the province; up more than 10% from this time last year, and more students than Hillel Ontario has ever engaged in the fall semester. 

We have:

  • hosted nearly 450 students for holiday celebrations; 
  • surveyed nearly 500 students to better understand their current needs and challenges;
  • encouraged nearly 700 students – Jewish and non-Jewish alike – to sign a pledge to take action against antisemitism;
  • activated 875 Jewish students through advocacy initiatives – including Holocaust education, Israel programming, student government outreach, allyship-building, and countering antisemitism;
  • brought together 1050 students for Frosh Week activities; and 
  • served more than 2000 meals.

Despite the concerning rise in antisemitism — because of it, in many ways — Jewish students in Ontario are coming out, standing up, and taking on leadership roles in numbers not seen before. 

To support these efforts, this week, we proudly participated in the Giving Tuesday campaign, with the goal of raising $14,000 — symbolically one dollar for every Jewish student on Hillel Ontario’s campuses. Due to the support and generosity of our community, and our partners at Fabricland, we have been able to raise more than $20,000 to support Jewish campus life. It’s not too late to join us. If you haven’t yet made your Giving Tuesday gift, please do so today!

With thanks,

Jay Solomon
Chief Communications & Public Affairs Officer