An Exciting Year

Written by Leeat Perlman and Jeremy Spira, Outgoing Student President Hillel Waterloo

“The bad news is time flies, the good news you’re the pilot” - Michael Altshuler

The time has flown for Hillel Waterloo but we are definitely in the pilot’s seat. This year was a whirlwind of events. From improving our more traditional events, to trying out brand new ones to everything in between we have had a packed year. This year our Shabbat dinners got a makeover. These revamped dinners all had relevant themes, including Keeping it Green Shabbat dinner, Super Bowl Shabbat, Shab-BUD dinner, and a Chanukah themed pizza party Shabbat Extravaganza. We also participated in the global Shabbat Project initiative. Besides Shabbat dinners we had lots of fun during our Booze and Shmooze events, Speed Dating, Falafel Feast and movie nights and these were just the organized events!

This year was filled by hard work, motivation, laughter, inspiration and success to name a few. Among these successes were Holocaust Education Week and our triumph of defeating the BDS vote on University of Waterloo Campus.

For Holocaust Education Week we had the honour of hearing from Mr. Phil Englishman, a child survivor. Mr. Englishman shared his story with a room full of students, faculty, and community members. Mr. Englishman survived the war by hiding with a family in the Netherlands, pretending to be their grandson. Mr. Englishman eventually moved to Canada and joined the Canadian Air Force. He inspired us all to act on our beliefs and “pay it forward”.

This past semester Hillel Waterloo joined forces with CIJA and Stand With Us to fight the BDS vote occurring on UW’s campus. We successfully defeated the attempted boycott against Israeli universities and academic institutions, becoming the first Canadian campus to defeat a BDS vote solely by number of votes supporting UW’s ties with Israeli academic institutions. The results of the VOTE NO campaign have shown all of us what we can do when pull together as a community, and has made us proud to be Jews and Waterloo Warriors.

With an exciting year behind us, we are looking forward to continuing to build Jewish life on campuses in Waterloo. We are so excited to have Emily Goldstein join our team and community this upcoming year as Hillel Waterloo’s director. With our seatbelts fastened and our chairs in the upright position, we’re ready to take off on another incredible year!