Getting to know Athena Strickland, Hillel student

In Hillel, Home by Judy SchindlerLeave a Comment

What drew you to Hillel?

Although according to Jewish law I am Jewish by birth because my mom was Jewish, I was not raised with the knowledge of a lot of Jewish spiritual and cultural practices. Yet I have always felt a strong connection to Judaism. What drew me to Hillel was the opportunity to reconnect with my Jewish identity. 

What have you loved most about Hillel? 

The thing I love most about Hillel is definitely the people. Everyone has been incredibly welcoming and accepting of both my identity as a non-binary person as well as where I am spiritually. As a Hillel family we support each other through thick and thin, through the good times and the bad times and having that support system in place is really important to me.

Why did you choose to join the Hillel Board? 

I chose to join the Hillel board because I want to have the chance to improve the already fantastic Jewish life that we have here on campus. I want to make Hillel visible not only to Jewish students who are looking for a Jewish family away from their Jewish family at home, but to those looking for a Jewish family period. I want to provide a space for students who may have never had the opportunity to feel pride in their Judaism to feel comfortable on campus.


What are your dreams for Hillel in the year ahead? 

My dreams for Hillel in the coming year are to add more members but still keep the closeness and family-like atmosphere that we have in the present. I hope we can continue to be a vital part of campus life and continue being proud of our Judaism and inviting others to learn about Judaism.

What are your goals for Hillel in the next three years?

In the next three years I hope Hillel will increase its visibility to the general student population on campus. Many students still don’t know that we exist and I hope that myself, the other board members, and anyone else who is involved in Hillel will help to educate others about Jewish culture. I hope to be a safe space for having fun as a family and as a greater campus community and that we stick by each other and the greater campus community during times of hardship.

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