The Foundation for
Jewish Campus Life

Hillel Alumni

Finding pluralistic Jewish community

Fairfax, Virginia | 2020

Headshot 4 (2)“I grew up secular and without a Jewish community. Aside from Chanukah and an abbreviated Passover seder, I was seldom exposed to Judaism and felt incredibly isolated and removed from Jewish spaces. Yet, I always knew that I wanted to be a part of a Jewish community. So, my third year of college, I decided to attend University of Chicago Hillel's programming, and it truly changed my life.

“I found an incredible, pluralistic Jewish community where my best friends became people with a background of 13 years of Jewish day school. The Hillel community was a place where I was able to learn how to pray and participate in Jewish rituals, make lifelong friends that identify with every denomination, and where I fell in love with my Judaism 20 years after most of my peers. I was put into a judgement free community that wanted to grow together and wanted to include people regardless of their Jewish background. The Friday night “tisches” we had together — where dozens of us would come together to celebrate Shabbat — inspired me to help open up a new Moishe House in Fairfax, Virginia, so that a new pluralistic Jewish community could succeed.” — Victoria Koffsky, Executive Assistant at Winning Connections Inc.