This year was one of our best yet! Though it was cut a little short, we are so grateful to have been able to share such a wonderful year with you, filled with so many good memories, friends, and delicious food. Here is what our graduating students had to say about their time at McMaster Hillel.
Max Librach, Arts & Science
When I first got accepted to Mac, I was hesitant. Little did I know that I would end up finding a home away from home, close community, and my best friends to this day at McMaster Hillel on the way. The Jewish community at Mac welcomed me with open arms, and I instantly felt that I had found a family in Hamilton who I knew I could count on. I am incredibly grateful to my friends, my colleagues, and most of all our incredible director Judith, who has been like a mom to me, not to mention so many others. They were the ones who made me feel at home while at school and inspired me to go on to join the Hillel executive team and ultimately become Hillel president last year. The people I met, the opportunities I had, and the friends that I made are priceless, and will remain with me for a lifetime. It is incredibly bittersweet to think that I am slowly approaching the end of my undergraduate journey, no less one cut slightly short by quarantine. But I know I am leaving feeling immense pride to see all that we have accomplished as a community in four short years. I love and will miss you all, but you can’t keep me from visiting! I can’t wait to watch as you all continue to grow and accomplish amazing things!
Ma’ayan Fadida, Health Sciences
Being a part of Hillel for the past four years has been one of the most incredible and meaningful experiences I have had while being at McMaster. Hillel gave me the opportunity to meet incredibly special people who ultimately became friends that I will always value well beyond my time at Mac. Hillel turned into what felt like my home away from my home from Vancouver and is an experience that I will always remember. Going to events like bagel lunch each Wednesday genuinely became one of my favourite two hours of my week as I was not only able to escape the craziness of school but got the chance to see so many of the people I love so dearly. Hillel was a space where I was able to become an even more confident version of myself and a place that was safe and where the people made me feel like I truly belonged. I really am so appreciative of all the people who have supported me and welcomed me into the special Jewish community that we have at McMaster.
Rebecca Buckler, Cognitive Sciences of Language
Being involved in McMaster Hillel has been an unparalleled experience. Hillel has provided me with an incredibly rich university experience. It has allowed me to grow my leadership skills, confidence, and passion for Judaism and Israel. It has introduced me to the most special group of lifelong friends. It has taught me about commitment, motivation, and selflessness. And most of all, Hillel has become my home and my family these past four years. McMaster Hillel, you have left me with wonderful memories, and I will be grateful for you always!
Max Altman, Arts & Science
The transition from high school to University can be a challenging one. Most of my friends had gone to other schools, so in a lot of ways, coming to Mac felt like I was starting fresh. Only a week into school, Hillel’s Welcome Back BBQ provided me with the opportunity to meet so many amazing people, many of which I am still friends with almost four years later. For me, Hillel did not just play the role of a club; it was a welcoming space that gave me community, support, and most importantly, smoked salmon on bagels for lunch every Wednesday. I am forever grateful for the fond memories I will have from my time at McMaster, and much of that I owe to Hillel.
Dana Yablonovich, Molecular Biology & Genetics Co-op
Over the last 5 years at McMaster, Hillel has become my home. I went from only attending a couple bagel lunches and formal in first year, to being general exec my third year, social chair my fourth year and finally becoming event and production chair in my fifth and final year. As a student in Molecular Biology and Genetics, I rarely got time to express myself and have fun without worrying about midterms. Hillel gave me a place to express myself and allowed my creativity to roam free. I was able to put my love for event planning into practice through planning formals, coffee houses, karaoke nights and I also got to produce an amazing Out of Sync performance twice. Without Hillel, I don’t think I would have gotten the same opportunities to show a side of me that isn’t dedicated to research. I will be forever grateful to McMaster Hillel and all the amazing people who run it for giving me a place where I could finally let my true colors show.
And with that, the year came to an (unexpected) end. Thanks to everyone for making 2019/2020 so amazing!