The Foundation for
Jewish Campus Life

Humans of Hillel

Pushing boundaries

San Francisco, California | 2019

“Whether it be as students or as post-grad 'Yo-Pros,' having the support of a Jewish community is imperative. At George Washington University, I was fortunate to have mentors that not only provided a Jewish community that I desperately sought for, but drove me to push the boundaries of what the definition of community entailed. I worked hand-in-hand with my Hillel peers and mentors to build events that were inclusive to all. It is of no surprise that three years later, I yearn for that same community that so distinctly defined my undergraduate experience.

“Community is not only what you find, but what you make of opportunities around you.  Two years ago, I moved to San Francisco and found that despite meeting Jewish colleagues in all facets of life, the market options were scarce to none. This past Hanukkah, it was hard to find a store that sold menorahs, and my friend confronted me about Walgreens charging $18 for Hanukkah candles. When speaking to my sister at UMass Amherst about the subject, she too said that finding the things that define our holiday celebrations and traditions were out of reach: Passover without Matzo Ball Soup, Hanukkah without gelt and dreidels, Shabbat without Challah. This problem is not unique to Amherst or San Francisco, it was prevalent in Little Rock, Arkansas where we grew up, and spanned throughout the States.

“So how do we solve the problem of bringing Jewish community to every home in the United States? Jewdash. My sister and I teamed up to create a subscription box service that will ship directly to your doorstep every month, including Jewish gifts, memorandums and food that spread the tradition. Our goal is to work with organizations to build a stronger Jewdash community, where our proceeds will also go to hosting Shabbats in your city, planting trees for Tu B’Shvat or a night of Seder on-campus. Our goal is to give back as much as we received at Hillel, and add our efforts to build a stronger Jewish community for everyone.” — Aya Kantorovich, Co-founder of Jewdash, George Washington University