By: Ilana Lazar
JNFU Rep – York University

As the school year and holidays commence it is often a time for reflection; consider the past and look toward the future.

Over the past few years on campus I have experienced many highs and lows of being a Jewish student at York University. From taking Jewish studies courses, to engaging with other Jewish students in the Hillel space, to bringing and participating in events with Israeli speakers, I have seen many aspects of the positivity that occurs when Jews connect on campus. On the contrary I have also experienced bouts of anti-Semitism and BDS. However in those tough times it becomes apparent how strong the York Jewish is community when banded together.

On my JNFU trip to Israel in 2017 I understood the importance of building our communities and strengthening the ties that bind us. Along with two other York students we went back to campus, ready and excited to build our personal and communal relationships.

As I sat in Synagogue during the High Holidays I was able to truly gauge the impact of our Toronto Jewish community. I looked around and noticed the familial feeling that I often feel at York. Jews greeted familiar and unfamiliar faces, sat next to each other and ensured that everyone felt included in the community.

Seeing the many different facets of Jewish community is truly beautiful. Whether the connection is built through adversity on campus or a seat neighbour in synagogue it is really important to continue building those communal bonds to allow us to become the best Jews we can be, for this year and for the years to come.