The Unity Shabbat program on September 3rd, 2021 brought our campus community together. With over 20 organizations, including Hillels across Ontario, the message was clear: we are united and proud to be Jewish. 

The idea for the event originated from regular meetings between a few graduate students and the lead professional for Hillel UofT. Given the rise in antisemitism, the isolation of the pandemic, and Jewish students’ concerns of returning to campus, creating a sense of unity was vital. An opportunity to show that as a Jewish student, you have multiple places you can call home, and at the same time, know you are supported.

The event was planned in a short time frame with great collaboration across organizations to ensure it occurred before all the Jewish holidays and before everyone returned to campus. It was a resounding success, with representatives from various organizations leading rituals, Dvar Torahs (a short discussion about the week’s Torah portion) and breakout rooms. Over 100 attendees were able to participate.

United as Jews, we can overcome adversity, demonstrate our pride, and look forward to more events like these going forward.

  • Chaim Katz, Hillel UofT

Watch the full Unity Shabbat service here!