Every year, Vancouver Hillel students initiate hundreds of programs and projects, covering a vast range of topics and interests. Exceptional student achievements are recognized at the end of the year with a series of awards presented at a student gala event.
The students recognized here represent the summit of student achievement during the 2011 – 12 academic year. As a record of accomplishment, this represents one 12-month period out of Hillel’s 64 years of past successes and the second since the opening of the Diamond Foundation Centre for Jewish Campus Life.
With the new Hillel House set to stand at the heart of the UBC campus until at least 2084 – and with successful Hillel Houses attracting Jewish students to Simon Fraser University and the University of Victoria – this record of one year’s triumphs can be extrapolated to imagine the impact Hillel will have in British Columbia for generations to come.
The Ben Dayson B’nai Brith Award for Citizenship
This award recognizes a great Canadian businessman, philanthropist and above-all proud citizen, in whose name we recognize excellence in citizenship.
First – Isaiah Levinson – For outstanding service at co-president of UVic’s JSA … for being integral to every success the club experienced this year … for his experience and maturity as a Senior student who could always be counted on whenever he was needed …and as a constant example for other students.
Second – Daniel Raff – For exemplary service in his role as IAC External, in charge of outreach for the club and promoting Israel among other clubs … for creating meaningful and long-lasting relationships with board members from other clubs … and for increasing partnerships across campus.
Third – Hannah Levin – For her important outreach work as the JSA’s representative to the Global Lounge, creating strong relationships between the JSA and other on-campus clubs at UBC … for enhancing strong interfaith relationships with the Ismaili Students Association through programs like the PB+J-a-thon, and the interfaith dessert potluck … for earning the JSA a nomination for best new member club at the Global Lounge.
Fourth – Max James – For helping out at every Hillel and IAC event … and for collaborating with Raffi Freedman in creating invaluable resources to counter “Israel Apartheid Week”.
The Leon Kahn B’nai Brith Award for Israel Advocacy
This award recognizes the Zionism of the late Leon Kahn, a great British Columbian whose story of courage as a partisan fighter against the Nazis has been chronicled in film and book.
First – Dan Barak – For his enthusiastic leadership of the IAC at UBC for the past year … for envisioning and realizing the Challa baking for Charity … for combating Israel Apartheid week … for being key to all the club’s successes this year … and for representing Israel positively on Campus, while building and maintaining relationships with other clubs
Second – Ido Refaeli – For service as the IAC treasurer at UBC … and for his essential contributions to Hillel and the Club this year … for managing the IAC account at the AMS … and for his willingness to contribute his time and effort to ensure the successes of both Hillel and the IAC …
Third – Linoy Alkalay - For her service as a member at large of UBC’s IAC … for taking upon herself to find a charitable organization who would work with the IAC on its Challa Charity project … and for being a crucial part of so many of the club’s successes.
Fourth – Steven Zbarsky – For his work as vice-president of UVic’s IOC … for his service as a Hasbara fellow whose passion for Israel through participation in events such as the Amnesty International Film Festival and collaboration with the Water Brigades on campus.
The Irv Epstein B’nai Brith Award for Achievement in Combatting Hatred and Defamation
The late Irv Epstein was one of British Columbia’s leading fighters against race-based hatred and this award recognizes students who have excelled
at educating and promoting tolerance.
First – Hannah Ordman – For her service as Shabbat dinner chair of UBC’s JSA … for extraordinary contributions to he success of this year’s Holocaust Awareness Week and the Vancouver-wide Holocaust Remembrance Week planning committee.
Second – Leore Anner – For being at the forefront of UBC’s IAC in both advocacy and combating hatred toward Israel … for her crucial role in planning the IAC strategy to IAW … and for successful delivery of the Magen David Adom first aid course … and organizing a charitable arts and crafts fair.
Third – Raffi Freedman – For his extraordinary service as a first-year student to two of Hillel’s clubs at UBC — AEPi and IAC — and for being very active in both spheres … for organizing the annual Rock for Cancer campaign and fostering the partnership with the JSA in planning the One Night in Tel Aviv party … and for his determination in developing the resources to effectively combat defamation during IAW.
Fourth – Lee Aldar… for being a consistent presence in the IAC and Hillel community all year long, especially working to effectively combat IAW.
The Hana and Mordehai Wosk Leadership Award for Distinction in Israel Programming
Dr. Mordehai Wosk and Dr. Hana Wosk have been central to the success of Vancouver Hillel for decades. Mordehai Wosk is a former executive director of UBC Hillel, a member of Vancouver Hillel’s Board of Directors, head of the Vancouver Hillel Endowment Foundation and a member of Hillel International’s Board of Governors. This award recognizes students who have made outstanding contributions to Israel-related programming.
First – Sarah Silvers-Cawker – For service as IOC President at UVic … and the leadership roles she took planning many cultural and educational events at UVic, and for being a key member in the Shabbat prep team.
Second – Noa Rippel – For distinction in service as vice-president of the IAC at UBC … organizing the Rabin Display and leading both Imagine Day and Clubs Days … for recruiting many new members to the club and for representing the club on campus and in opposition to IAW.
Third – Nikki Kihira - For serving as education chair for the IOC at UVic … for preparing the weekly Israeli news flash … for unparalleled stardom at clubs days and shabbat dinners, bringing many new members into Hillel.
Fourth – Topaz Glazer – For organizing iWeek and promoting a positive image of Israel on campus … for participation and leadership in the importat events of the year at UBC.
The Hana and Mordehai Wosk Leadership Award for Distinction in Jewish Programming
This award recognizes students who have made exemplary contributions to Hillel’s delivery of Jewish programming.
First – Tmima Shupack – For outstanding guidance of the club and superb execution of Shabbat dinners…and for her leadership not only of the JSA but of almost every Judiasm-oriented program at UBC this year.
Second – Ilan Lieberman – For being an active member of all three campus clubs at UBC — JSA, IAC, and AEPi … for consistently coming to Hillel daily and being an important part of our community from day one … for being a constant presence at all Jewish programs and continuing to show leadership in many aspects of Hillel’s three student clubs.
Third – Katie Barmazel – For her guidance as an experienced Hillel member who was involved in almost every area of the successes at UVic this year…and especially for her skills in the kitchen on shabbat.
Fourth – Noah Finklestein – For excellence in his role as the JSA’s Holocaust Awareness Week Chair, working tirelessly to ensure the success of HAW … bringing new, innovative programming to Hillel … for working to connect the JSA with the broader Vancouver community through volunteering and Holocaust commemoration … for effectively taking on the JSA’s biggest Jewish identity program of the year and making it his own, inspiring his peers and setting the bar at a new level.
The Hana and Mordehai Wosk Leadership Award for Distinction in Tzedakah and Tikkun Olam
This award recognizes individuals who have improved the world through their good works.
First – Arielle Mayer – For single-handedly co-ordinating and implemented the JSA Green Week initiative … for encouraging outreach to new and innovative kinds of tikkun olam projects, and incorporating Jewish values and thought, and for demonstrating incredible devotion to tzedakah and tikkun olam in her first of at least two years as JSA vice-president.
Second – Danielle Fenson – For service as the JSA’s First Year Rep at UBC …. And for single-handedly co-ordinating and implemented the Tzedakah Week initiative … for going above and beyond the call in taking on Tzedakah activities ensuring, among other things, that hundreds of Vancouver’s hungry had a meal.
Third – Matt Goldberg – For returning from a Gap year in Israel energized as both the USY regional director and an active member of the IOC at UVic … for being a primary organizer of the hugely successful PB & J-a-thon … for dancing his way through both Israeli music and Israeli politics.
Fourth – Yasmin Sultani - For helping new Hillel exchange students become acquainted with campus … for mentoring students academically … for partnering Hillel with SFU’s Club for the Cure which raised over $1000 for BC Childrens Hospital … and for a range of volunteer leadership achievements.
The Hana and Mordehai Wosk Leadership Award for Distinction in Service
This award recognizes students who have demonstrated exceptional service to the Hillel mission.
First – Maya Perry - For consistently and tirelessly assisting staff in hot lunch and other program preparations and for bringing new faces into Hillel weekly … and for continuing to be a brightly smiling beacon of the community.
Second – Leat Ahrony – For her crucial contributions to meetings, bagel lunches and Shabbat dinners and for devoting herself not only to Hillel but to her studies and work
Third – Addison Kramer – For proving an invaluable help to staff in the preparation of hot lunches and Shabbat dinners … for becoming a strong member of the Hillel community from her first day on campus … for emerging into a strong leader throughout the year … and for consistently demonstrating her amazing work ethic by assisting staff at any possible moment.
Fourth – Gabby Hergt – For being unselfish with her time … for bringing many new students into Hillel … for single-handedly giving the Victoria house a make-over … and for being so crucial in transporting students to and from off-campus events in her Hillel-mobile that she gained the nickname Taxi Gab.
The Hana and Mordehai Wosk Leadership Award for a Senior Student Exemplar
This award commends graduating students for the example they have set to younger leaders.
First – David Cassel - For ensuring the success of almost every activity undertaken this year at UVic … and for a devotion to Hillel that extended far beyond his services as JSA President.
Second – Rayka Kumru – For playing a vital role in Hillel and JSA programming at UBC throughout the year, especially Holocaust Awareness Week, the Philosopher’s Café, and Holocaust commemoration off campus as well…for co-ordinating and implemented her own program bringing Zumba to UBC…and for attracting many new faces into Hillel as a strong representative of the organization throughout her entire university career
Third – Shalom Kaiser – For his boundless energy and his volunteerism whenever needed…and for bringing together the Jewish and Bahai’i communities at SFU to promote coexistence and better understanding
Fourth – Bar Laniado… For helping to educate the campus population at SFU about Hillel … and for her passionate dedication to Israel, Hillel and Judaism
The Vancouver Hillel Award for Leadership in Philanthropy
Vancouver Hillel has a proud reputation as a leader in social entrepreneurship. Each year, we honour students who exemplify innovation and selflessness.
First – Jay Chen – For always being there when needed … for building relationships between Hillel and countless other campus groups at SFU … for mentoring new students about SFU, Hillel and SFSS … for being an absolutely irreplaceable leader and volunteer who has been crucial to every success at SFU Hillel in the past few years and who will be incredibly missed as he graduates.
Second – Evan Grunberger - For beginning the year as AEPI vice-president at UBC and ending it as president … for organizing and implementing successful philanthropic campaigns including Rock for Cancer and partnerships with sororities … for bringing the Inter-Fraternity Council into the Hillel building and greatly enhancing awareness on campus of Hillel.
Third – Aden Klein - For successfully encouraging enhanced cooperation between the AEPi brotherhood and Hillel…for making more PYI calls than anyone else in the chapter (and perhaps in all of Hillel)…and for his outstanding work as the current and continuing vice-president of AEPI.
Fourth – Michael Levin – For his service on the executive board of AEPi and his integral role in the success of this year’s PYI telethon … for organizing both of AEPi’s parties at Hillel this year … and for encouraged new students to come to Hillel…