The Foundation for
Jewish Campus Life

Humans of Hillel

Reigniting my Jewish connection

Salt Lake City, Utah | 2020

“Growing up in Los Angeles, Judaism was a big part of my life. My grandparents founded the temple I regularly attended, and I went to Hebrew school since kindergarten. After I became a bat mitzvah, I let Judaism fade into the background of my life. Even when I was applying to colleges, finding a campus with a Jewish community wasn’t a priority for me. I enrolled at the University of Utah, mainly because of its phenomenal recreational therapy program. Utah has a small Jewish population, unlike Los Angeles, where I was surrounded by other Jews. It was just so different from my community back home. During the first weekend on campus, my roommate and I decided we would go visit Hillel for Utah. There, I met other students who I had so much in common with — who shared my Jewish values. I realized that I had lost sight of how important Judaism was to me. Hillel helped me remember that, so I kept going back. Over time, Hillel became my community on campus. I’m honestly surprised how much of an impact Hillel has had on me because I wasn’t sure that Judaism was going to be a part of my college life. Now, I’m the Hillel vice president of engagement. I was welcomed at Hillel, and I want to create that same experience for others.” — Kayla Dworsky, University of Utah