Attendees at UBC Hillel House’s Rosh Hashanah dinner to start the 2022/23 school year. (photo from Hillel BC)
Hillel BC celebrates its 75th year with a celebration March 30 at the University of British Columbia Hillel House.
Hillel BC was founded in 1947, under the name B’nai B’rith Hillel Foundation, in the same spot on UBC’s campus where it still operates from today. This came from an understanding that Jewish students were being excluded from the main student clubs on campus and they needed a place to socialize and be Jewish.
The original space was an old, wooden one-room house that was at the outskirts of campus. Little did they know then that this location would become the heart of the campus as the university expanded.
In 2002, B’nai B’rith Hillel Foundation became Vancouver Hillel Foundation, the first Hillel International-affiliated program in Canada, which was followed by establishing space at both Simon Fraser University and University of Victoria. Eight years later, the current building was opened, solidifying Hillel’s space on the UBC campus and beyond. Today, Hillel BC continues to serve at UBC, UVic, SFU, Langara College, Emily Carr University of Art + Design and other post-secondary institutions as needed.
In addition to celebrating 75 years on campus, Hillel @ 75 on March 30, 7:30 p.m., will provide an opportunity to thank recent executive directors Rabbi Philip Bregman and Sam Heller. The Jewish Student Association, Israel on Campus Club and AEPi (Jewish fraternity) will offer the community an overview of their activities in dedicated tables, and a short presentation will be given by the board and current staff. Special guests include Deborah Buszard (UBC interim president), Joy Johnson (SFU president), Skip Vichness (Hillel International board chair) and Vancouver Mayor Ken Sim.
“We are very excited to have the community back in our building for this celebration of our 75th anniversary,” said Rob Philipp, executive director of Hillel BC. “Due to COVID, we missed a lot of important events worth noting, specifically the 10th anniversary of our UBC building, and the retirement of Rabbi Philip Bregman and Sam Heller. We want to take the opportunity to celebrate our successes and recognize some of the key people who helped lead us through some difficult times. The evening reception will be at our UBC building, attended by special guests, and it will host the first viewing of our promotional video.”
For more about Hillel BC and to purchase a ticket for the event ($75), visit hillelbc.com. A portion of the ticket price is tax-deductible.
– Courtesy Hillel BC