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  • Hillels of Georgia

Finding Hope in "Day of Hate"

By Jeremy Lichtig, Campus Director, Hillel UGA


This past weekend Jewish people around the United States were exposed once again to the hatred of a small group with a loud voice. While I am not normally one to dwell on the negative, the threat of this weekend forced me to take pause.


I am outraged by the Jewish hatred being spewed across our country by a vocal minority. Nobody should feel as if they have to hide a part of themselves to remain safe. That is why my staff and I work tirelessly to ensure threats of harassment against the Jewish community at UGA are taken seriously by administration and campus safety, and that no matter the climate on campus or beyond, Jewish students and faculty have a safe place at Hillel to express their Jewish pride.


While fears over what the past weekend would bring forced me to focus on the negative, it also gave me the opportunity to reflect on the aspects of our Jewish community I am most thankful for. Everyday Jewish students and staff continue to show up as their most authentic, Jewish selves. Our students are dedicated to Hillel, creating wonderful programs to educate, empower and grow their Jewish community, and building strong connections with their peers forged on a strong foundation of Jewish values. Finally, our Jewish students are taking the time to raise awareness for antisemitism amongst the larger campus community, building a new generation of allies to stand up against Jewish hate.


While we continue to struggle against the rise of antisemitism, I am thankful for the incredible team of Jewish and non-Jewish partners who stand behind Hillel in Athens and across Georgia, defending our students and creating a safe place for proud Jewish life.


I’m writing this letter because in the face of bigotry and hatred, I think it is even more important that our community understands the importance of the work being done at Hillel. I have seen firsthand the benefits of what we do for students while they’re on campus, from finding Jewish community to developing a more intimate, personal relationship with Judaism and Israel, I see these changes daily. I have been lucky to find a career where my passion and knowledge overlap. At Hillel I have an opportunity to guide young people and forge connections to Jewish community. It does not feel like work so much as an opportunity to live my best life by helping others live theirs.


I welcome the opportunity for us to connect so you can learn more about the impactful work the staff at Hillel does on a daily basis. You can reach me directly by email at jeremy@ugahillel.org or my direct line (410) 598-1064.


This work would not be possible without our community of supporters. To make a donation to the Hillel UGA Annual Fund at support vibrant Jewish life on campus, Click Here.

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