Why We Love Israel In The Winter

by | Sep 29, 2017 | Birthright, Fun, Hillel Ontario | 0 comments

Our students often say that they prefer going on Birthright in the summer over the winter so that they can extend their trips. However, lots of trip leaders will tell you that winter trips are just so much more fun! Your Hillel Ontario staff agrees with that! Here are seven good reasons why you should definitely consider going on a winter trip this year!


A few years ago I joined a Birthright trip as part of the Mifgash. That winter, I had the most amazing time, experiencing all the possible weather conditions you can imagine – it was like having summer, winter, fall, and spring in only one week! The weather ranged from hot and sunny, to rainy and windy, all the way to freezing snow.

Where else can you experience something like that?


Winter is the perfect time to experience the burst of colors of Israel’s nature.


I love winters in Israel! Israelis are so much nicer in the winter when the temperatures are normal – some might even be polite! Just don’t  expect them to stand in lines 😉


Have you ever partied for Sylvester in Israel?

Why do I love Israeli winters? It’s the perfect weather to go diving and kite surfing in Eilat. The water temperature never goes below 21 degrees – every divers dream!

Why should you go? Winter trips provide participants the opportunity for more intimate and interesting ways to get to know Israel. No lines at attractions and higher chances for unique experiences.


I love Israeli winters because that’s the time when you can actually enjoy browsing through the Shuk without sweating.


I think being in Israel is enough reason to go on Birthright this winter, but if you really want me to give you a reason then here you go: What sounds better than having a snowball fight with your Birthright bus and Mifgash in the Golan Heights? I personally can’t think of much….  

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