It can be hard to have a disability and make friends at school. In high school, I was involved with Washington Hebrew Congregation and loved being a leader in my Jewish community. So when I was searching for a way to form a community for myself at George Mason University, I went to see what was happening at Hillel.
When our student community sees themselves represented in leadership roles, they feel more safe, secure, and seen on campus.
The idea that two students from very different communities decided to run together and share the highest position in the student body raised many eyebrows on campus. Students were very skeptical it would work out, and I got comments daily questioning my decision
“As a high school freshman, I stepped into leadership for the first time through BBYO. My passion for grassroots organizing and teen initiative inspired me to run for BBYO’s International Board, and I started in February 2020 as the international treasurer. With this position, I was given the platform to take action on causes I’m […]
Being a Jew of Color always puts me in an interesting place. In my experience, when people think about Jews, they think about white Europeans, but there are a bunch of Ashkenazi Jews like me who aren’t always counted or represented. There may not be many of me in the world, but that doesn’t mean I don’t exist.
“My first Hillel dinner at school was when I was a prospective student. My host’s name was Dana, and she, along with the people I met that weekend, are the reason I’m here. From the moment I stepped into the admissions building to check-in, I felt welcomed and loved, and it continued throughout the rest […]
As a convert, I know what it feels like to be nervous walking into Jewish spaces. Now it’s my job to make sure no one feels like that.
I didn’t come to college with the mindset of, “Oh, time to convert to Judaism.” That wasn’t on my agenda. But, I do credit a lot of the Rutgers Hillel staff and the student board for the work they did to make Hillel such a pluralistic and accessible space for people like me.
I think the music I write is a reflection of my story. A lot of it is about my conscious analysis of what it is to be Black and Jewish. It’s my commentary on that experience. Hillel has provided that support system for me, and it has also influenced the actual art itself.
I don’t see that my Persian identity ever has to stop for my Jewish identity to start. Iranian Jews have been in Iran since 586 BCE, so the Iranian and Iraqi diaspora are the most historic diaspora of the Jews. My family has been in Iran longer than we’ve been in Israel and longer than we’ve been in the U.S.
“Being Jewish and Latino are central parts of who I am.”
“My dad is Jewish, and my mom is Chinese. Growing up, I noticed I was different from others in Boulder, Colorado.”