In their own words… from some of our Queens’ student athletes

In Hillel, Home by Judy SchindlerLeave a Comment

Hear their own words expressing why some of our Jewish athletes chose Queens, chose Queens’ Hillel, and chose their respective sports.

Olga Shokurova, Class of 2019
Sport: Triathlon
Hometown: Charlotte, North Carolina

Why Queens?

I transferred to Queens after three semesters at NC State. I had to take a medical withdrawal and I figured it was better to go to school near home. Queens offers an Exercise and Sport Science major, which is a great pre-physical therapy path. Additionally, very few schools have NCAA triathlon and I was lucky enough to have a team practically in my backyard.

Why Queens’ Hillel?

Queens Hillel is a tight-knit community where I felt immediately accepted. As a transfer student living back at home, I had trouble finding my place socially. Hillel helped me feel at home and allowed me to practice and embrace my Judaism with a receptive and welcoming group of individuals.

As someone who has been a part of Hillel on two college campuses, I have noticed that the vast majority of Hillel members welcome you with open arms. Regardless of whether you are Jewish or not, everyone is welcome to attend Hillel events and learn about Judaism. Hillel does not discriminate and makes sure to create an inclusive environment for everyone.

Why triathlon?

Triathlon requires a large amount of dedication. Being in shape for three sports at once and managing a balance with social life and school can be overwhelming. Triathlon has taught me that my time is valuable and I should use my time wisely. It has also been one of the most rewarding activities I have been involved in. After putting in loads of miles, crossing the finish line is one of the most gratifying feelings ever.

Triathlon is an event where athletes swim, bike, and run. These events are done in immediate succession with quick transition. Distances of triathlon races vary, but for collegiate races we either do sprint or Olympic distances. A sprint distance is typically a 750 meter swim, followed by a 20 kilometer bike, and a 5k run. An Olympic distance is double this.

Noah Goldman, Class of 2019
Sport: Rugby
Hometown: Charlotte, North Carolina

Why Queens?

In March of 2015, I ran into Talli Dippold at the Purim Carnival and somehow she managed to convince me to apply to Queens University. At first, I was skeptical but as I looked further into it and the programs that Queens provides, I felt more and more that I needed to go here. I then took a tour and fell in love with the campus. Shortly after acceptance, I got a personalized e-mail from a professor of the Political Science, International Studies, and Sociology Department welcoming me to Queens and that is when I knew that Queens was right for me.

Why Queens’ Hillel?

I love how Queens Hillel creates a space for Jews, regardless of affiliation, to form a community in which we engage with and support one another. It has become like a second family and a good support group for when I need it. It has also granted me multiple opportunities to meet and interact with rabbis, alumni, faith leaders, community leaders, and more. Hillel provides students with the chance to interact with other Jews in universities to make life-long friends.

Why rugby?

I love the competitiveness and teamwork aspects of rugby. A team cannot just rely on one individual. Everyone has to push their weight in order to succeed. In addition, it is a very inclusive sport and seeks to get people active and have fun.

Ruben Greenstein, Class of 2021
Sport: Volleyball
Hometown: Glencoe, Illinois

Why Queens?

I picked Queens because it has an excellent business school. In addition to the beautiful campus, the small size of Queens allows me to get to know a lot of peers. Queens is located in a beautiful neighborhood and located right near Uptown Charlotte.

Why Queens’ Hillel?

What I love about Queens Hillel is that it allows me to meet other Jewish students on a very small campus. It is a place where we can all come together and hang out and have fun. What I love about Hillel is it allows me to have that connection to my Jewish upbringing and it is a home away from home.

Why volleyball?

What I love about volleyball is that it is a team sport and after every play we come together to celebrate or refocus/communicate. Also, volleyball is such a fast paced sport.  It is all about reading the situation and making the moves. There is no greater satisfaction than to dig someone one on one.

Harris Helberg, Class of 2021
Sport: Track and Field
Hometown: Marietta, Georgia

Why Queens?

Queens University offers an individualized program with diverse opportunities. I am able to seamlessly study exercise and sports science, participate in track and field, and be active in clubs and organizations. Hopefully I can continue to make a difference on campus as I am a first-year student.  Queens also offers a small school feel near a big city, which drew me in as well.

Why Queens’ Hillel?

Queens Hillel is a home away from home. This is true because I am able to continue the meaningful Jewish traditions I practiced before college. Hillel allowed me to meet other students immediately after school started. I really enjoy the ability to connect with other Jewish students.

Hillel is a great institution. They develop student leaders and educate Jewish people. It is important for Jewish people to collaborate and celebrate together, as we’ve done throughout history.

Why track and field?

Track and field is simply a vehicle for success. During my time as an athlete, I’m preparing myself to be a responsible individual with intangible skills like tenacity, humility, and sportsmanship. Along with that, I am able to be in great shape and properly exercise (no pun intended) my competitive side.

My specialty in track and field is the decathlon, which means I compete in 10 different events involving running, jumping, and throwing.

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