Dovi Chein has been appointed to the position of director of Jewish Campus Life at Hillel Ottawa after serving as student life coordinator at Hillel Ottawa during the 2016-2017 academic year. The new student life coordinator is Leora Morris.
“We made Hillel Ottawa the place to be on campus,” said Chein reflecting on last year. “Students were excited and wanted to come to our activities.”
Among the examples of last year’s activities Chein mentioned was an “alternative Megillah reading,” where students acted out the different roles in the story.
“Through this experiential learning, while laughing and having fun, people really understood the story of Purim,” he said.
Chein also mentioned Hillel Ottawa’s “Chicken Soup Hotline,” which delivers chicken soup, homemade by Chein himself, when students are sick.
“Last winter, we piloted a new program called Hillel U, a weekly course/discussion facilitated by Rabbi Eytan Kenter on Jewish topics. Due to its stunning success, we are working on bringing it to campus again for this academic year,” Chein said.
Also in the works for this year are more Jewish-themed activities including Shabbat dinners at different synagogues and an egalitarian Tu B’Shevat seder.
Chein also said Hillel’s Israel Awareness Committee will become more proactive in positive Israeli advocacy and conduct more cultural events – some in conjunction with the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs – like the Canadian Cheese and Israeli Wine evening.
Morris, a graduate student at Carleton University, said she comes “from a relatively traditional family” but wasn’t really interested in Jewish-themed activities when she started her undergraduate studies at the University of Guelph.
At Hillel, however, she felt “at home” and realized that Judaism is important to her. She went on to serve as vice-president and co-president of Hillel Guelph.
“I got so much from Hillel. It allowed me to explore my Judaism and other aspects of my identity,” she said.
“It’s cool that Hillel is a student-run organization,” Morris added. “It offers everyone an opportunity to grow and develop.”
Morris said she plans to help Jewish students connect with each other, create friendships, and make Judaism a part of everybody’s life.”
The most important thing Morris wants students to know is that everyone is welcome at Hillel Ottawa, that “my door is always, always open, and I’m ‘all ears’ to all people, all thoughts and ideas.”
It is crucial, she said, for Hillel Ottawa to be open and inclusive for everyone – of all opinions, ways of life and identities.
“Leora is someone who cares deeply about Jewish life on campus. Her passion, engaging personality, and volunteer work have given her the foundation to become a dynamic Hillel professional,” said Chein. “Hillel Ottawa is lucky to have Leora, and I couldn’t be more excited to be working with her this year.”