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How do you make friends in a sea of 35,000?

Jun 26, 2019
UNCG and UNC
Kobe, a transfer student, was seeking community and a sense of belonging. This is how he found it.

When I transferred to NC State, I really struggled to find my place on campus. My first semester, the only place I had to go back to after class was my dorm. Now I spend all my time at Hillel on Hillsborough Street. Any time a student walks in, we ask each other how we’re doing. There’s always someone to talk to. Even if we’re working silently, it’s a place to be together.
 
At Hillel I truly feel comfortable and safe. It’s really hard to make friends in large classes, but talking to people at Hillel events, it’s great to have Judaism in common - it’s something to jump off of to make friends. Honestly, all my friends come from Hillel. Here I instantly felt at home. I got that warm fuzzy feeling.
 
I also feel like I was disconnected from my Judaism for so long and Hillel gave me the chance to reconnect. For example, this summer I did Birthright with North Carolina Hillel and I’m really glad I went. I felt so at home in a place that I expected to feel foreign. Now I have the confidence to participate in conversations about Judaism and Israel. I feel so lucky to have had these life-changing experiences.
 
I am so proud of the community we are building at NC State.

-
Kobe Friedman, NC State, December '19
Major: Education
Hometown: Charlotte, NC
Dear {First Name},
 
I’ve always considered myself an introvert, but when I found Hillel, something changed. I’m running around, talking to everybody. It’s like my safe zone. Our Hillel includes people from so many different backgrounds in terms of gender, faith experiences, varying abilities, and commuter students. If someone feels like an outsider, we immediately explain things to them. You are who you are and you are accepted. That is one of my favorite things about Hillel at UNC-Greensboro. 
 
 
Now I sit on the Intercultural Leadership Council through the UNCG Office of Engagement - as far as we know, this is the first time Hillel has been part of the council! Without Hillel's encouragement, I would never have taken on a leadership role on campus. I was also very excited at the end of the year when the university recognized our hard work by naming us a Student Group of Excellence.
 
 
Thank you, and wishing you a wonderful summer!
Skyler
-
Skyler Portnoy, UNCG '21
Major: Professions in Deafness
Hometown: Raleigh, NC
Dear {First Name},
 
I’ve always considered myself an introvert, but when I found Hillel, something changed. I’m running around, talking to everybody. It’s like my safe zone. Our Hillel includes people from so many different backgrounds in terms of gender, faith experiences, varying abilities, and commuter students. If someone feels like an outsider, we immediately explain things to them. You are who you are and you are accepted. That is one of my favorite things about Hillel at UNC-Greensboro. 
 
 
Now I sit on the Intercultural Leadership Council through the UNCG Office of Engagement - as far as we know, this is the first time Hillel has been part of the council! Without Hillel's encouragement, I would never have taken on a leadership role on campus. I was also very excited at the end of the year when the university recognized our hard work by naming us a Student Group of Excellence.
 
 
Thank you, and wishing you a wonderful summer!
Skyler
-
Skyler Portnoy, UNCG '21
Major: Professions in Deafness
Hometown: Raleigh, NC
Dear {First Name},
 
I’ve always considered myself an introvert, but when I found Hillel, something changed. I’m running around, talking to everybody. It’s like my safe zone. Our Hillel includes people from so many different backgrounds in terms of gender, faith experiences, varying abilities, and commuter students. If someone feels like an outsider, we immediately explain things to them. You are who you are and you are accepted. That is one of my favorite things about Hillel at UNC-Greensboro. 
 
 
Now I sit on the Intercultural Leadership Council through the UNCG Office of Engagement - as far as we know, this is the first time Hillel has been part of the council! Without Hillel's encouragement, I would never have taken on a leadership role on campus. I was also very excited at the end of the year when the university recognized our hard work by naming us a Student Group of Excellence.
 
 
Thank you, and wishing you a wonderful summer!
Skyler
-
Skyler Portnoy, UNCG '21
Major: Professions in Deafness
Hometown: Raleigh, NC

North Carolina Hillel Foundation
210 West Cameron Avenue
Chapel Hill, NC 27516
(919) 942-4057

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