Traveling, fashion design, and Israel have all been a core part of my journey as I’ve explored my own identity and strengths throughout my life.
In reflecting on my journeys recently, I realized that my wanderlust comes from my grandfather. A Yemenite sailor, he came to Israel as part of Operation Magic Carpet and set my family on a new path. He loved to travel the world, but he loved my grandmother, their family, and Israel even more. He shared […]
But I love Israel, and sharing that love has always been so important to me, so when my friend came back to me a few months later and told me that Stanford University was looking for an Israel Fellow at the last minute, I decided to apply. A month and a half later, I was settling into California life.
For me, Judaism is warmth. It is the warmth of a mazel tov on a happy occasion. It is the warmth of far too much food at every social gathering. It is the warmth of traveling away from home to college and having a constant, reliable base in the campus Hillel. And it is the warmth of hearing “welcome home” the moment you step foot in Israel.
I am Jewish, queer, and Mexican. So often, trying to hold all three of these identities at once is challenging. But I didn’t have to try when I went on Birthright Israel with Santa Barbara Hillel. I was able to embrace and celebrate every part of myself.
Even if they didn’t know who I was or even if my English was awful, they were the most welcoming people ever.
I was born in Mexico City into a Jewish family that included my parents and grandparents. For my entire life, I’ve had a Jewish support system in Mexico, not only with my family, but with the Jewish community there.
What I saw at the No Fear Rally that I hope to take into my role in the Student Cabinet this next year is that, first and foremost, students need resources and need to know that people in high-up places and all over the world are supporting them.
I’ve really connected to Judaism through music. I play the guitar, drums, and trumpet and so music is something I really love. My first time at Hillel, everyone was singing Salaam. I thought it was a very nice song, but I didn’t know how to sing it or play it. Nowadays, I probably know more music and songs than my other Jewish friends.
I felt like ‘Oh my God there’s so many Jewish people that are in the States and they live such a different life and they have so much to say and I don’t know anything about it and I love my people,’ you know? I feel like we are one.
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.