Student Story

We have the privilege of working with students across all of our campuses that inspire us with their leadership, passion and commitment to Jewish life.

Levi Cassidy
University of Toronto

During my time at the University of Toronto, I have taken a somewhat
unconventional path towards personal success. Disaffected for a time with all things academic, I took two years off in the middle of my degree to work in my field of study, and returned to the university knowing that it was time for me to try something new. It’s hard to say whether I found Hillel during that period, or whether Hillel managed to find me. But, what I do know is that the instant sense of community and belonging that I felt after attending my first event on campus was impossible to ignore.

The reason for the sense of community, in my mind, is that at Hillel there are always opportunities to make meaningful contributions, no matter who you are. For me, that meant becoming involved in leadership initiatives like the new Jewish Social Entrepreneurs (JSE) program and the Hillel Ontario Student Leadership Council. These two groups, among others, proved not only to be leadership platforms, but also served as bridges to incredible opportunities, like attending the Jewish Federations of North America’s General Assembly in Los Angeles.

Perhaps most importantly, my involvement in Hillel never felt constrained by a particular ideology or belief set. A true plurality of thoughtful voices can be hard to come by these days, and my being able to discuss and debate (over a quality kosher dinner, of course) issues that were important to me with my peers added even more value to what was already a great environment for personal growth.

And so as I prepare to pursue future goals, I know that my experiences at Hillel will be among those that allow me to go further, reach higher, and ultimately, to do so with a greater sense of my own Jewish identity that I am confident will continue to be meaningful for all my years to come.