Shaping Resilient Jews

Nurturing Communities

Empowering Advocates

As the largest regional Hillel in the world, Hillel Ontario works to amplify Jewish campus life across nine universities, with a combined Jewish student population of 14,000.

Hillel embraces religious and political diversity in an inclusive environment, and supports a broad spectrum of students to make a meaningful impact on the future of the Jewish people and the world, while they grow intellectually, socially, and spiritually.

Through innovative campus programming, student leadership training, life-changing immersive experiences, and educational and religious initiatives,

Hillel engages, empowers, and inspires the next generation of Jewish leaders to make an enduring commitment to Jewish life, Jewish learning and Israel.

 

We are having an impact.

Quantitative data demonstrates that students who engage with Hillel are 90% more likely to take a leadership role in the Jewish community, 130% more likely to host Shabbat dinner for their friends and family, and 70% more likely to describe themselves as being very connected to Israel.

 

Impact at a Glance

6

Hillel Houses
& Lounges

22

Lay Leaders

40

Professional Staff

935

Donors

$4M

Operating Budget

Impact at a Glance

6

Hillel Houses
& Lounges

935

Donors

22

Lay Leaders

$4M

Operating Budget

40

Professional Staff

Impact at a Glance

6

Hillel Houses
& Lounges

22

Lay Leaders

40

Professional Staff

935

Donors

$4M

Operating Budget

Students who engage with Hillel are:

%

more likely to describe themselves as being very connected to Israel

%

more likely to take a leadership role in the Jewish community

%

more likely to host Shabbat dinner

Students who engage with Hillel are:

%

more likely to describe themselves as being very connected to Israel

%

more likely to take a leadership role in the Jewish community

%

more likely to host Shabbat dinner

Students who engage with Hillel are:

%

more likely to describe themselves as being very connected to Israel

%

more likely to take a leadership role in the Jewish community

%

more likely to host Shabbat dinner

This year,
we’ve learned that:

%

of students say Hillel plays a role in celebrating Jewish traditions

%

of students say they feel welcome at Hillel

%

of the students we impact say being Jewish will continue to be important to them after graduation

This year,
we’ve learned that:

%

of students say Hillel plays a role in celebrating Jewish traditions

%

of students say they feel welcome at Hillel

%

of the students we impact say being Jewish will continue to be important to them after graduation

This year,
we’ve learned that:

%

of students say Hillel plays a role in celebrating Jewish traditions

%

of students say they feel welcome at Hillel

%

of the students we impact say being Jewish will continue to be important to them after graduation

Jewish students on campus find themselves in turbulent times.
They are:

facing a tsunami of ignorance and antisemitism on campus & online

struggling to develop strong Jewish identities and loving, nuanced relationships with the Jewish community and Israel

searching for ways to build community while embodying a new generation of priorities, preferences, and identities

Jewish students on campus find themselves in turbulent times.
They are:

facing a tsunami of ignorance and antisemitism on campus & online

struggling to develop strong Jewish identities and loving, nuanced relationships with the Jewish community and Israel

searching for ways to build community while embodying a new generation of priorities, preferences, and identities

In response, Hillel Ontario is…

Shaping and inspiring the next generation of confident and resilient Jews and Zionists.

Nurturing inclusive and welcoming Jewish campus communities that cultivate essential connections to the Jewish world – on campus, in Israel, and beyond.

Empowering students to advocate for their rights on campus, and counter antisemitism and all other forms of hatred.

In response, Hillel Ontario is…

Shaping and inspiring the next generation of confident and resilient Jews and Zionists.

Nurturing inclusive and welcoming Jewish campus communities that cultivate essential connections to the Jewish world – on campus, in Israel, and beyond.

Empowering students to advocate for their rights on campus, and counter antisemitism and all other forms of hatred.

In response, Hillel Ontario is…

Shaping and inspiring the next generation of confident and resilient Jews and Zionists.

Nurturing inclusive and welcoming Jewish campus communities that cultivate essential connections to the Jewish world – on campus, in Israel, and beyond.

Empowering students to advocate for their rights on campus, and counter antisemitism and all other forms of hatred.

Shaping Resilient Jews

Hillel recognizes that Jewish identity is personal and unique, and elevates the importance of individual engagement, one-on-one relationships, and customized Jewish settings. Hillel’s multifaceted and pluralistic approach provides numerous entryways into what it means to be Jewish and to engage in Jewish self-authorship. 

Students identify as Jewish in any number of ways – religiously, spiritually, ethnically, or culturally. Through learning, conversations, and experiences, Hillel supports them in their explorations and works to deepen particular aspects of Jewish identity important to them.

Shaping Resilient Jews

Hillel recognizes that Jewish identity is personal and unique, and elevates the importance of individual engagement, one-on-one relationships, and customized Jewish settings. Hillel’s multifaceted and pluralistic approach provides numerous entryways into what it means to be Jewish and to engage in Jewish self-authorship. 

Students identify as Jewish in any number of ways – religiously, spiritually, ethnically, or culturally. Through learning, conversations, and experiences, Hillel supports them in their explorations and works to deepen particular aspects of Jewish identity important to them.

Hillel Ontario’s JLF was absolutely life-changing. I spent years feeling like I was worthless and broken, but JLF taught me that G-d made me in his image and reinforced that I am meant to be here. Wanting and being proud to be alive is something I achieved in two months through JLF. I have been trying to reach this point through seven years of therapy.
I felt safe opening my mind and heart in such an inclusive and welcoming environment. [JLF] has been the best experience I’ve had throughout university. The stipend doesn’t hurt, but the happiness, sense of belonging, and deepened belief in G-d is absolutely priceless.

Courtney K

Being a strong and confident Jew also entails having the expertise and abilities to succeed in the wider world and to achieve one’s personal and professional goals. With this in mind, Hillel cultivates leadership and other skills integral to student life and beyond.

Students’ mental health was deeply affected by the pandemic. They struggled with loneliness, depression, anxiety and despair. During this dark and difficult time, Hillel’s work became more vital than ever. Hillel professionals provided one-on-one pastoral care, and built new wellness programs and communities to meet student’s changing needs.

Hillel Ontario’s JLF was absolutely life-changing. I spent years feeling like I was worthless and broken, but JLF taught me that G-d made me in his image and reinforced that I am meant to be here. Wanting and being proud to be alive is something I achieved in two months through JLF. I have been trying to reach this point through seven years of therapy.
I felt safe opening my mind and heart in such an inclusive and welcoming environment. [JLF] has been the best experience I’ve had throughout university. The stipend doesn’t hurt, but the happiness, sense of belonging, and deepened belief in G-d is absolutely priceless.

Courtney K

Being a strong and confident Jew also entails having the expertise and abilities to succeed in the wider world and to achieve one’s personal and professional goals. With this in mind, Hillel cultivates leadership and other skills integral to student life and beyond.

Students’ mental health was deeply affected by the pandemic. They struggled with loneliness, depression, anxiety and despair. During this dark and difficult time, Hillel’s work became more vital than ever. Hillel professionals provided one-on-one pastoral care, and built new wellness programs and communities to meet student’s changing needs.

930

Wellness Packages
Delivered

1,000

Shabbat Dinners
Served

3,300

Students Engaged

930

Wellness Packages
Delivered

1,000

Shabbat Dinners
Served

3,300

Students Engaged

Nurturing Communities

Nurturing Jewish students’ individual traditions and interests is a critical element of Hillel’s community-building efforts. From food, to cultural experiences, to the varying degrees of religious observance, we strive to integrate students’ customs into the fabric of our campus communities.

We also recognize that fostering specialized networks serves to forge connections that last a lifetime. While every student is unique and has different interests, passions, fields of study and identities, they continuously search for meaningful connections, and a deeper sense of belonging.

Nurturing Communities

Nurturing Jewish students’ individual traditions and interests is a critical element of Hillel’s community-building efforts. From food, to cultural experiences, to the varying degrees of religious observance, we strive to integrate students’ customs into the fabric of our campus communities.

We also recognize that fostering specialized networks serves to forge connections that last a lifetime. While every student is unique and has different interests, passions, fields of study and identities, they continuously search for meaningful connections, and a deeper sense of belonging.

234

Students Participating in
Learning Fellowships

(17% Growth Since Last Year)

356

Students on Hillel Ontario
Birthright Trips

530

Campus Programs
Hosted

Especially this year, in light of the war in Ukraine, fostering a welcoming community for Russian-speaking Jews was critically important. On each campus, a Jewski intern worked to create a community of Russian-speaking Jews through programming and shared experiences.

This year, Hillel Ontario also supported Rainbow Jews, which provided opportunities for LGBT2SQIA+ Jews to gather and build community. Across the province, Rainbow Jews enabled students to integrate their Jewish and LGBT2SQIA+ identities and experience a feeling of belonging and shared experience.

234

Students Participating in
Learning Fellowships

(17% Growth Since Last Year)

356

Students on Hillel Ontario
Birthright Trips

530

Campus Programs
Hosted

Especially this year, in light of the war in Ukraine, fostering a welcoming community for Russian-speaking Jews was critically important. On each campus, a Jewski intern worked to create a community of Russian-speaking Jews through programming and shared experiences.

This year, Hillel Ontario also supported Rainbow Jews, which provided opportunities for LGBT2SQIA+ Jews to gather and build community. Across the province, Rainbow Jews enabled students to integrate their Jewish and LGBT2SQIA+ identities and experience a feeling of belonging and shared experience.

In my first year at Western, I didn’t know anybody else who was Jewish or Israeli for the first few months. This was difficult for me, as throughout my life I have grown up with others who share my identity. I felt alone. Once I joined Hillel, I felt as though I found my community. Hillel became a place where I was able to unapologetically be who I am and not have to explain my identity to anybody. People simply understood, and this made me feel much more comfortable in my new environment. To this day, I am so grateful I found this community. I have learned that not all Jewish people look the same. Rather, there is a diverse range of identities that fall within Judaism. I love learning about the different cultural backgrounds of people involved in the club as well as sharing and exploring my own story.

Rebecca Sharer
3rd Year, Western Hillel

To me, Hillel is a safe space on campus for students like myself to come together as a Jewish community and it acts as a support system. I feel like Hillel is a way for me to connect to my Judaism and my Jewish peers while I’m on campus.

Rachel Altman
4th Year, McMaster Hillel

In my first year at Western, I didn’t know anybody else who was Jewish or Israeli for the first few months. This was difficult for me, as throughout my life I have grown up with others who share my identity. I felt alone. Once I joined Hillel, I felt as though I found my community. Hillel became a place where I was able to unapologetically be who I am and not have to explain my identity to anybody. People simply understood, and this made me feel much more comfortable in my new environment. To this day, I am so grateful I found this community. I have learned that not all Jewish people look the same. Rather, there is a diverse range of identities that fall within Judaism. I love learning about the different cultural backgrounds of people involved in the club as well as sharing and exploring my own story.

Rebecca Sharer
3rd Year, Western Hillel

To me, Hillel is a safe space on campus for students like myself to come together as a Jewish community and it acts as a support system. I feel like Hillel is a way for me to connect to my Judaism and my Jewish peers while I’m on campus.

Rachel Altman
4th Year, McMaster Hillel

Empowering Advocates

Hillel Ontario has a unique advocacy strategy designed to confront antisemitism and anti-Zionism on Ontario university campuses by combating boycotts, promoting the globally recognized definition of antisemitism, and leveraging strategic relationships with campus influencers. 

Hillel empowers students by investing in advocacy professionals, embedded within each campus team, training and empowering Jewish and non-Jewish, pro-Israel students to become strategic and effective influencers and advocates, building strategic alliances with leaders across campus, and educating the wider campus community about Israel, Zionism, and historical and modern antisemitism and racism.

Empowering Advocates

Hillel Ontario has a unique advocacy strategy designed to confront antisemitism and anti-Zionism on Ontario university campuses by combating boycotts, promoting the globally recognized definition of antisemitism, and leveraging strategic relationships with campus influencers. 

Hillel empowers students by investing in advocacy professionals, embedded within each campus team, training and empowering Jewish and non-Jewish, pro-Israel students to become strategic and effective influencers and advocates, building strategic alliances with leaders across campus, and educating the wider campus community about Israel, Zionism, and historical and modern antisemitism and racism.

Hillel also invests in immersive fact-finding trips to Israel, in which non-Jewish leaders are given the opportunity to experience Israel first-hand. This year, a delegation of nearly 20 students from Queen’s University participated in a trips to Israel, where they met with Israelis and Palestinians, heard from local experts, visited holy sites, and learned about the political complexities of the region. Participants of these trips range in backgrounds, and represent some of the most influential student organizations on campus.

Hillel has created a sense of community and belonging for me that I didn’t think was entirely possible at a large competitive university, such as the University of Toronto. More recently,  I had felt incredibly isolated and targeted for being Israeli and Jewish on campus. As if my nationality, religion, or appearance speaks for my opinions and ideals. Hillel granted me a support system, who without them, I don’t think I would have been able to return to campus. The support and motivation I receive from staff and students is unlike anything I’ve encountered and I am incredibly appreciative and indebted to them for allowing my undergraduate experience to be as freeing and exploratory as it could be. When encountering antisemitism on campus I always know I have a safe place to speak and be heard without feeling as if I need to be on guard to defend myself, and I am incredibly grateful to Hillel for granting me that sense of peace.

Netta Halevy
4th Year, Hillel UofT

25

Israel Week
Programs

1,250

Students Engaged in Advocacy Initiatives 

(300% Growth Since Last Year)

1,300

Student Participating in
Holocaust Education Initiatives

2,310

Advocacy Actions
Generated by Students

2,500

Advocacy Actions Generated
by Our Community

Hillel also invests in immersive fact-finding trips to Israel, in which non-Jewish leaders are given the opportunity to experience Israel first-hand. This year, a delegation of nearly 20 students from Queen’s University participated in a trip to Israel, where they met with Israelis and Palestinians, heard from local experts, visited holy sites, and learned about the political complexities of the region. Participants of these trips range in backgrounds, and represent some of the most influential student organizations on campus.

Hillel has created a sense of community and belonging for me that I didn’t think was entirely possible at a large competitive university, such as the University of Toronto. More recently,  I had felt incredibly isolated and targeted for being Israeli and Jewish on campus. As if my nationality, religion, or appearance speaks for my opinions and ideals. Hillel granted me a support system, who without them, I don’t think I would have been able to return to campus. The support and motivation I receive from staff and students is unlike anything I’ve encountered and I am incredibly appreciative and indebted to them for allowing my undergraduate experience to be as freeing and exploratory as it could be. When encountering antisemitism on campus I always know I have a safe place to speak and be heard without feeling as if I need to be on guard to defend myself, and I am incredibly grateful to Hillel for granting me that sense of peace.

Netta Halevy
4th Year, Hillel UofT

25

Israel Week
Programs

1,250

Students Engaged in Advocacy Initiatives 

(300% Growth Since Last Year)

1,300

Student Participating in
Holocaust Education Initiatives

2,500

Advocacy Actions Generated
by Our Community

2,310

Advocacy Actions
Generated by Students

Exemplar Awards

Hillel International’s Global Assembly (HIGA) made a virtual return this year, with the conference taking place online for the second year in a row. The annual Global Assembly brings together Hillel professionals from around the globe for professional development, networking, and continuing education. More than 1,000 Hillel professionals participated in the conference. This year, Hillel International recognized the exemplary contribution of two Hillel Ontario professionals — outgoing CEO, Marc Newburgh, and Senior Director of McMaster Hillel, Judith Dworkin.

Exemplar Awards

Hillel International’s Global Assembly (HIGA) made a virtual return this year, with the conference taking place online for the second year in a row. The annual Global Assembly brings together Hillel professionals from around the globe for professional development, networking, and continuing education. More than 1,000 Hillel professionals participated in the conference. This year, Hillel International recognized the exemplary contribution of two Hillel Ontario professionals — outgoing CEO, Marc Newburgh, and Senior Director of McMaster Hillel, Judith Dworkin.

Campus Highlights

Hillel York built niche micro-communities to enhance engagement in student-driven programming.

Hillel TMU piloted Walk It Off – an innovative, outdoor, community-building program aimed at supporting student’s well-being during COVID-19 lockdowns.

Between the annual Bar Mitzvah Bash in December, as well as its first Shabbat dinner in nearly 30 months, Hillel Waterloo and Laurier hosted over 250 students.

University of Toronto removed graduate union funding being used to support the Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions campaign against Israel.

Queen’s Hillel doubled its engagement numbers this year and took nearly 20 student leaders on an immersive, fact-finding trip to Israel.

McMaster Hillel partnered with the Christian Reformed Ministry and hosted more than 100 students for a virtual survivor testimony during Holocaust Education Week.

Guelph Hillel ran an intensive Holocaust Education Week program in collaboration with the Central Students Association.

Western Hillel partnered with the university to create an antisemitism training module to be included in mandatory training for every student on campus. 

Hillel Ontario hosted a roundtable discussion with Minister of Colleges and Universities and the Minister of Education and provided testimony to the Government of Canada’s National Summit on Antisemitism.

Campus Highlights

Hillel York built niche micro-communities to enhance engagement in student-driven programming.

Hillel TMU piloted Walk It Off – an innovative, outdoor, community-building program aimed at supporting student’s well-being during COVID-19 lockdowns.

Hillel Ontario hosted a roundtable discussion with Minister of Colleges and Universities and the Minister of Education and provided testimony to the Government of Canada’s National Summit on Antisemitism.

Queen’s Hillel doubled its engagement numbers this year and took nearly 20 student leaders on an immersive, fact-finding trip to Israel.

Western Hillel partnered with the university to create an antisemitism training module to be included in mandatory training for every student on campus. 

Between the annual Bar Mitzvah Bash in December, as well as its first Shabbat dinner in nearly 30 months, Hillel Waterloo and Laurier hosted over 250 students.

McMaster Hillel partnered with the Christian Reformed Ministry and hosted more than 100 students for a virtual survivor testimony during Holocaust Education Week.

University of Toronto removed graduate union funding being used to support the Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions campaign against Israel.

Guelph Hillel ran an intensive Holocaust Education Week program in collaboration with the Central Students Association.

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