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.
“With the outbreak of the coronavirus, Onward Israel adapted the six-week internship I was supposed to do in Tel Aviv to a virtual experience.”
“As a child, I grew up without any connection to Judaism.”
“I had culture shock when I moved with my family from a kibbutz in Israel — one that only spanned two streets — to Wisconsin.”
When I chose to attend Virginia Tech, I knew Hillel was going to be my home away from home.
I started Cooking with Brian, a series of short videos that teach viewers how to create simple and nutritious Israeli dishes. I had my work cut out for me.
I was adopted from China when I was 1-year-old and raised in Florida. I grew up proud of my Jewish heritage and was active in my local Jewish community.
My mom is an Afro-Latina from the island of Hispaniola. My dad is German and Polish. I was raised Jewish, not overly involved but not unaffiliated, and with Jewish values.