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NC Hillel Blog Posting

Are my values Jewish values?

by Alisa Koyrakh | Jun 26, 2019
UNCG and UNC
Nick was seeking answers about Judaism and a place to discuss Israel. This is how he found them.

While I have three grandparents who are Jewish, my mother wasn’t raised Jewish. For a long time, I struggled with that, wondering if I was Jewish. When I came to UNC Hillel, the staff and other students were very supportive of me and they supported my Jewish identity. At Hillel I learned that Jewish values reflect my own values. I learned about Jewish teachings and morals that inform my own choices and my passion for human rights.
 
Through Hillel, Judaism has become a huge part of my life. Hillel has given me important opportunities like organizing the Tree of Life vigil on campus in the fall and just recently, leading a trip to Israel for non-Jewish student leaders. These experiences have helped me grow as a person and a leader.
 
Hillel also provides an open space to talk about Israel with people of all backgrounds. Real dialogue is very rare on campus, especially when it comes to Israel. There is a tendency towards demonizing Israel in student-to-student interactions and student-to-professor interactions. Even in other Jewish communities it’s hard to talk about it because it’s so charged. But at Hillel I can have honest conversations with people who agree or disagree with me.
 
If you want to do something in the Jewish community, Hillel is here to support you no matter what it is - politics, human rights, education. For example, in the fall I’m going to conduct research about anti-Semitism on campus. Through a grant from the Psychology Department and with the support of Hillel, I plan to create interventions and support groups for students to process anti-Semitism.

I am so grateful for the help of people like you, who make our Jewish community possible.
 
Nick Rosenthal, UNC-Chapel Hill, December '19
Major: Biology and Psychology
Hometown: Providence, Rhode Island
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
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Chapel Hill, NC 27516
(919) 942-4057

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