Suzy Sostrin, KU Hillel’s Executive Director, was making coffee when I walked into KU Hillel for the first time. She immediately came over to meet me and then introduced me to the other students who were hanging out at Hillel. From that first interaction with a Hillel professional, I felt like I was enough.
Growing up in Israel, I always knew that military service was part of life, and key to keeping our Jewish state strong and safe. I also knew that it came with a very real and heavy toll.
Coming to campus as an observant Jewish student, I was immediately drawn to Hillel as the center of Jewish life at University of Maryland. I went to Hillel for kosher meals, for services, to meet friends, and to learn Torah. I’m also a lifelong basketball fan (go Sixers!), and was looking for a way to […]
My family is Mizrahi, meaning my Jewish ancestors lived in Western Asia and North Africa. I can trace my roots back to Bukhara, Persia, and Yemen.
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.
Warsaw has always been my home. I was born here and grew up in and around the city. It’s central to who I am, and serving the Jewish community here has been a foundational part of my life for many years.
Growing up in Jerusalem is a straight path towards learning that life is complicated. When I take the light rail through downtown Jerusalem, I sit next to people from all kinds of backgrounds and all walks of life.
By being a part of these communities, I have felt encouraged to embrace myself — no matter what Jewish space I occupy.
I am a bi-racial Jew: My mom is white and Jewish, and my dad is Black and a non-practicing Christian. My parents always told me how special I am to be part of two extraordinary groups of people, but I long believed I could only be one or the other. Over the years I have learned to become more comfortable coexisting in both identities.
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 […]