Being Jewish at York

Written by Nicole Tillin, President of Hillel York

On November 22, York Hillel hosted another awesome Frosh Series event. It was a panel discussion that included upper year students Nicole Tilin – President of Hillel at York, Ezra Tanen – Vice President of Multifaith, and Zach Gladstone – President of AEPi at York. Also, Hillel Ontario’s Associate Director of Advocacy, Ilan Orzy, joined the panel as a staff representative. The discussion focused upon Jewish life on campus, specifically addressing common misconceptions held by the outside community on what it means to be a Jewish student at York University. This, we hope, helped empower our first year students.

The panelists talked about their experiences of what it was like being a Jewish student at York (spoiler: it’s not frightening!), they discussed why York always finds itself in the spotlight, and how Jewish students can get involved on campus, in a Jewish or non-Jewish capacity.

Benji Feldman, one of the first year attendants, felt the event was very “informative and a casual way to learn about Jewish life at York”.

It was a meaningful talk to help first years feel more comfortable with their Jewish identities at York, to understand the realities that come with it, and how to leave a mark on campus.

“The Panel Discussion provided me with a new insight on Jewlish life on campus. After hearing the viewpoints from the different students, I learned about the importance of embracing Hillel and its comfort and about putting myself out there. It is important to embrace your Judaism and share it with the world so others can learn from you and we can end the stigma altogether.”