New Beginnings

Written by Elyse Wieskopf, Director of Hillel Ryerson

Hi! My name is Elyse Wieskopf and I am the Director of Hillel Ryerson. After serving 5 years as Senior Engagement Associate at Hillel Montreal, I am very excited to be back home in Toronto as part of the incredible Hillel Ontario team!

August and September are a time for new beginnings. Whether it’s the start of another semester, or celebrating Rosh Hashanah, we use this opportunity in the calendar to take stock of our lives, re-evaluate our goals and reflect on our hopes for the future. We at Hillel Ryerson are embarking on a new beginning ourselves, with a brand-new team of professionals who I’d like to introduce at this time.

Our Program Coordinator, Leore Zecharia, comes to us with an extensive camping background, working this summer as Program Director at Camp Northland. Leore holds a Masters in Museum Studies in collaboration with the Jewish Studies department from the University of Toronto, and is very excited to connect students to Jewish life in meaningful and relevant ways.

We are also very lucky to have Einav David on our team who will serve as this year’s JAFI Israel Fellow. Einav holds a Bachelor of Design from the prestigious Bazalel Academy for Art and Design in Jerusalem, along with an Art Education Diploma from Hebrew U. Einav is passionate about getting to know students and helping them build an authentic, personal relationship to Israel.

Last but not least, coming to us all the way from Ein-Iron, Israel, Yael Gour-Lavie joins us as our Shinshin! Yael brings with her a passion for social justice, performing arts, and desire to better understand the Jewish-Canadian landscape. At Hillel Ryerson, Yael hopes to informally teach about Israel through creative initiatives and discussions.

As we prepare for students to arrive on campus, our team is focused on developing innovative outreach strategies, along with high-impact initiatives that foster leadership, enriching educational experiences, and community. As we continue to grow and evolve, we are looking forward to driving this conversation with our students so that our Hillel can best reflect their interests and needs.  We invite all students to check out our Welcome Back Event on Thursday, September 6 from 5-7pm so that they can share what they hope to see at Hillel this year!