Big Fish Little FYSH

Big Fish Little FYSH

Hello! Our names are Hannah Finkelstein and Jess Pink and we are the VPs of Engagement for Guelph Hillel. Throughout the school year, we get to meet tons of new friends and welcome them to our Hillel family. For any event that we have, our number one goal is to make sure every student feels comfortable walking into the room. We reach out to students, have coffee, and introduce people to one another. We often make a meeting time on campus so students can walk together as a group to the event. Our main priority at the beginning of the year is to engage first year students and integrate them into Hillel and general Guelph life.

First year students have the chance to sign up for the Big Fish Little FYSH (First Year Student at Hillel) Peer Mentorship Program. This allows first years to meet older students that are part of our Hillel community and from their academic program. Big Fish help guide their buddy through course selection, killer Chem, and those tough assignments. Throughout the year, and even after, the Little Fysh and Big Fish meet and keep in touch. All the Big Fish and Little Fysh get competitive on who is the best pair!

This year, we kicked off our semester with some funny ice breakers. Teams had to blindly eat pretzels off of string and shave balloons covered in shaving cream. It was really funny and everyone got to know each other in a comfortable environment. Bonds were created that continue to flourish throughout the year.

After the Big Fish Little Fysh event, we had our Welcome Back Mixer. By having our first year event prior to the big party, we were able to encourage more first year students to come, making it feel less intimidating walking into the room. Now these new students feel at home as they have met so many friendly faces. It was so amazing to see first years interacting with upper year students, which is typical of our community.

Throughout the night, so many introductions and friendships were formed – people finding connections every which way. We are so excited for all the upcoming events this year and we hope to meet even more friendly faces!

Jessica & Hannah

Your 2019 Guelph Hillel Presidential Candidates!

Your 2019 Guelph Hillel Presidential Candidates!


We are Marissa Kachuck & Yonatan Fortisnky and Josh Small & Hannah Finkelstein and we are running as your next Hillel Co-Presidents.

It is important to us that every student’s opinion is acknowledged and appreciated. We believe that every student has a unique and important perspective to contribute for the success and growth of the organization. Voting in the upcoming presidential election is crucial for the success of Hillel because of the importance that YOU the students have a say in the leadership of Hillel and the impact it have on our community. The ball is now in your court and we hope you take the time to vote on Monday and show us, through popular opinion, who you think should take on this leadership role and what areas of the organization you, as students, believe are important to focus on developing.

Josh Small and Hannah Finkelstein have said that they wish to focus on the areas of engaging more new students, as well as continuing to keep these students interested in attending events and being involved. They also wish to focus on developing ways to encourage feedback from the general public on how to improve Hillel. Lastly, they have said that they wish to focus on engaging Guelph Hillel as part of a larger organization rather than strictly Guelph. They plan to do this by implementing inter-campus events, where Guelph students can learn and improve from areas that other Hillel’s might have already experienced success.

Yoni Fortinsky and Marissa Kachuck have said they wish to reach out to members of the Jewish community and its allies to learn how, as co-presidents, they can improve Hillel and make it more open for everyone. They aim to create a system for all students to provide feedback about the quality of events experienced as well as anything they wish to see added, changed or improved. They would also like to enhance the experience of Shabbat and the feeling of community by offering an optional Tisch (sing-along session) after Shabbat dinners. Finally, they strive to offer more educational events and trainings with outside speakers for the leadership board and beyond.

A Bright Future

A Bright Future

Written by Shelby Mawson, Gila Cotler & Nevo Schpire, Guelph Hillel Staff

The atmosphere here at Guelph Hillel is one of excitement and anticipation. Both staff and students can feel it and we are all looking forward to the upcoming school year. One of the many reasons for so much joy is just how much we have grown over the years. We have now reached the point where, for the first time ever, a new staff position has been introduced at Guelph Hillel. We are excited to introduce Shelby Mawson as the first ever Program Coordinator for Guelph Hillel. Shelby is an innovative, passionate professional whose eagerness for engagement has already inspired a number of initiatives that we look forward to implementing. In addition, we are incredibly excited to introduce Nevo Schpire as the new Israel fellow for both Guelph and McMaster. A dedicated, hard-working team member, Nevo brings a love for establishing dialogue with students along with a host of fresh ideas that benefit everyone.

With the incredible leadership of our Co-presidents of Guelph Hillel, Riley Noik and Marissa Kachuck, we held our training for Guelph Hillel Executive members this past Tuesday, August 28th, 2018. Between the moments of sharing our summer stories and reminiscing, we had the wonderful opportunity to delve deeply into what it was that Hillel meant for everybody there. We discussed the past, present, but most importantly, the future of Guelph Hillel. The obligations and commitments of Executive members were made completely clear, as was the enduring commitment Hillel had for Executive members and all Jewish students. We engaged in team building exercises as well as brainstorming ideas for upcoming events. Throughout the day, the thoughtful answers that our Executive team gave to the questions asked made us all feel incredibly lucky to get to work with such an amazing team. We finished the day with an incredibly fun team-building activity in an escape room!

The future here at Guelph Hillel is a bright one. With the start of the school year corresponding with Rosh Hashanah, it truly is a time of new beginnings in so many ways. With new beginnings comes the opportunity for fresh ideas and an abundance of wonderful opportunities. A new beginning does not entail unilateral discardment of the old. Rather, it is an opportunity for us all to use the past as a way to prepare for each of our new beginnings. We do not forget the past, but neither do we allow it to hold us back. Reflecting on our past as an organization, as a community, and as a family, we look toward the future with eagerness and anticipation.

From all of us in Guelph to you at home, we wish you a Shana Tova U’Metukah.