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Successful Hillel Conference Held in Winnipeg

by Rhonda J. Prepes, February 11, 2013

About 60 students attended the second annual Western Canada Hillel Conference entitled "Shabbat Shabang" held in Winnipeg on January 25-27, 2013 at the Asper Jewish Community Campus. Some Fourty students were Winnipeggers with about 20  students coming from Calgary, Edmonton and Saskatoon  for two days of fun filled and educational activities.

“It was a pleasure to see so many Jewish students from such different backgrounds and places come together to bond over what unites them, their Jewish traditions and love for Israel,” said Avi Posen, who is serving his first year as Hillel and Jewish Campus Life Director.

According to Posen, "many students were involved in the planning of the conference." The Hillel Interns Josh Donen, Sari Waldman, Ashley Kaufman and Josef Bader all were involved. Others who were involved had gone to the first Shabbat Shabang in Calgary last year.

At the conference, Hart Jacob Jewish Federation of Winnipeg leadership development Director spoke on  Israel identity, Andrew Kaplan, a Gray Academy teacher spoke on Jewish leadership.Students also heard talks given by Jordan Kerbel Director of Public Affairs and Communications for the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs and from Dani Fine Director of Hillel Canada. Theree was also a Shabbat dinner, team building activities, a Tu Beshvat Seder,a Havdallah service, and a pub crawl to keep students all engaged.

“Shabbat Shabang really energized the students for Israel Week on campus which was held a week after Shabbat Shabang at both Universities,” added Posen.

Posen summed up the weekend, “I believe that positive Jewish experiences are much more useful than learning in a classroom. Hopefully events like these will help inspire the students to get even more involved in their Jewish life, their community and with Israel.”

Hillel Winnipeg is the centre for Jewish life at both the University of Winnipeg and University of Manitoba.  Hillel Winnipeg’s mission is to provide opportunities for every Jewish student to deepen their connection to Jewish identity and Jewish community through social programming, religious / holiday programming, social justice programming, etc.


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Rhonda Spivak, Editor

Publisher: Spivak's Jewish Review Ltd.

Opinions expressed in letters to the editor or articles by contributing writers are not necessarily endorsed by Winnipeg Jewish Review.