anyaDear Hillel of Silicon Valley supporters,

Hillel of Silicon Valley means everything to me. I feel like I’ve finally found the place where I belong. I had always wanted to be part of the Jewish community, but finding time had been difficult. When I had found the time when I started going to San Jose State, I wanted to meet the community and see if this was where I was meant to fit in. The first event I attended was a Shabbat Dinner. At the time, I was nervous because I felt like the new kid and the odd one out. Previously, I had been part of Sonoma Hillel and I had always felt like the new kid there despite being an active member for a year. Yet, when I came to the Hillel SV house, everyone here took me in without any questions. Originally, I had meant to keep to myself and sit apart from the group. However, I met Kylie, who was so welcoming. She brought me to sit with her friends, and I realized that this is where I am meant to belong all along. I kept coming back to all the Shabbat Dinners, where I got to meet even more students from all over the South Bay. Our kitchen was going under renovations in December, not giving my family and I the space to fully celebrate Chanukkah. I was so happy to get to go to all the Chanukkah events at Hillel. Chanukkah is one of my favorite holidays, and I loved celebrating it with all my new friends. This summer, I will be going on Birthright. I had wanted to go for years, but it hadn’t felt right. Now, though, it feels right to go with Hillel SV. I now consider Hillel my second home and everyone in it my second family.

Anya, SJSU