Why are we standing On One Foot?

by | Jan 12, 2018 | Hillel Ontario, On One Foot, Uncategorized | 0 comments

Why are we standing On One Foot?

On One Foot has launched and we are jumping (on one foot, of course) with joy! As we all know, the third time’s a charm, so let’s kick the campaign off with a reminder of the successful past two years of On One Foot:

In 2016, this new and innovative peer-to-peer fundraising campaign was piloted on two of our campuses: Guelph Hillel and Queen’s Hillel. Together, they raised a total of $35,000 in five weeks to put towards their campus spaces. To sweeten the deal, we offered to buy a years supply of Wacky Mac for the team that raised the most. Stomachs started rumbling at Guelph Hillel, and they enjoyed their macaroni and cheese in their newly renovated house, complete with an outdoor room, a nap room, a beautiful modern kitchen, and a really cozy living room. They enhanced their experience in year two, winning again and being rewarded with a year of Netflix and Chill, not to mention their newly created Innovative Programming Fund.

But Guelph Hillel wasn’t the only campus that participated in On One Foot in 2017. Four new campus teams were added to compete with Guelph and Queen’s Hillel. In 2017, our impressive students raised a total of $105,000 to enhance Jewish campus life across the province. This is why students at Ryerson have a cool new Loft with two swings, Western students have a brand new, kosher kitchen, students at McMaster can actually feel comfortable chilling in their newly renovated lounge, and our students at UofT can finally call their Hillel space their Jewish home on campus.

There has been so much interest generated in the past two years that we are proud to say that we are going into year three with even more campuses participating. This year, students from seven of our campuses will be raising money to improve their campus experience: Guelph Hillel, McMaster Hillel, Queen’s Hillel, Hillel Ryerson, Hillel UofT, Western Hillel, and Hillel York. We can’t wait to see what exciting programs, renovations, new initiatives, and community support On One Foot 2018 will bring!

And now it’s time to hit the ground running! We can’t wait to see everyone in their slides after they get their first donation.

 

Annamie Paul Joins Hillel Ontario

Annamie Paul Joins Hillel Ontario

Last month Hillel Ontario heard from Annamie Paul, leader of the Green Party of Canada. After winning the leadership race back in October of 2020, Annamie became the first Black person and first Jewish woman to lead a federal Canadian political party. Since then, she has been speaking to Canadians all across the country, spreading messages of hope and inspiration, during a time where these moments are a rarity. No matter the political orientation of the Zoom attendees of this fireside chat, everyone walked away with a few life lessons up their sleeve.

Here are some of my biggest takeaways. First, Annamie spoke about following your passion, a message that I know many students needed to hear. When I graduated from grade 12, I was constantly asked where I saw myself in five years, ten years, and sometimes even twenty years. Although I was asked with the best intentions, I’ve always felt overwhelming pressure to envision a clear career path. Annamie dispelled this myth by referencing the enjoyment associated with the process of discovering your passion rather than having a final goal in mind, and Annamie’s enthusiasm for human rights through a policy lens has shaped the course of her life. Second, Annamie spoke about the importance of speaking up in the face of injustice. Whether you consider yourself an advocate or not, Annamie highlighted the need to follow your moral compass, never remaining complicit. Following Annamie’s time as the leader of the Green Party, it is clear that she isn’t afraid to use her voice and position to shine light on racism, antisemitism, and sexism. These are two lessons I think everyone can learn from.

Annamie spoke about growing up in Toronto Centre (the riding where she will be running in the next federal election), her career as an international lawyer, and her decision to enter politics. As someone who doesn’t fit the mold of a traditional politician, Annamie referenced about the challenges that she’s faced as a Black, Jewish woman. Racism, antisemitism, and sexism were all constant throughout her leadership campaign, and her six months leading the Green Party. 

Throughout Annamie’s talk, I learned about the importance of elevating voices that have previously gone unheard. In a predominantly white space, Hillel students and staff need to work hard to ensure that Jews of Colour feel welcomed. 

After 45 minutes, the latter half of which consisted of an insightful Q&A, Annamie mentioned that she would love to be invited back to another Hillel Ontario fireside chat. For now, I’ll take Annamie’s lessons with me while looking forward to hearing about all of her accomplishments in a year from now.

  • Skylar Banks, Guelph Hillel
Collaboration Breeds Diversity and Inclusion

Collaboration Breeds Diversity and Inclusion

Collaborating with other student organizations allows us to diversify the students at our events, build coalitions, establish good rapport with other student groups and broaden the topics of the content that we deliver. 

This past month, we had the privilege of working with the Waterloo and Laurier chapters of Menstruation Redefined, which is committed to helping with the “institutional and social barriers surrounding menstruation that risk the health, well-being, and daily lives of many.” This mission resonated with us at Hillel because we understand the importance of diversity, equity and inclusion for all. These are values that we hold as Jews, and want to embody at Hillel. 

We joined forces to produce a fun evening of trivia and learning. The event allowed us to reach new students, educate others on Jewish practice for those who menstruate, and learn more about Menstruation Redefined’s mission. Collaborative events like this allow us to understand key issues and causes that other student-run campus groups advocate for and to build strong allyships and ensure that we propel Hillel’s values forward, such as inclusion and equity.

Jessica Bloom, HIllel Waterloo Student President
Veronica Grad, Hillel Laurier Student President

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