Message From Executive
Director & CEO, Aaron Weil:
With the news of the day focusing on Covid-19, historic economic distress and social unrest unseen since the 1960's, it would be reasonable to conclude that being a college student today is more challenging than ever. "Challenging," however, is not necessarily a bad thing.
Just as it takes tremendous pressure to turn a piece of coal into a diamond, external events can shape us all. We cannot control the world around us, but each of us has the ability to decide for themselves how they will react to these events. It is THIS decision that will not only shape their college experience, it will likely impact the course they chart for the rest of their lives.
As the famous Pittsburgh Rabbi and internationally acclaimed Psychologist Dr. Abraham Twerski points out in his famous "What We Can Learn From Lobsters About Stress", is that stress can actually be a powerful enabler for personal growth. Dr. Twerski suggests that "we have to realize that times of stress are times that signal growth. If we use adversity properly, we can actually grow through adversity."
We don't know what the world will be like (let alone UCF) when school opens in August, but we do know this... it is going to be a incredible opportunity for personal growth. Our incredible staff have been working assiduously this summer to get ready to greet and support your students whether they are on campus or at home.
Through new programs like our upcoming Wellness Center, counseling services (in person and online) as well as opportunities to take a stand on a variety of issues affecting our world, Hillel is here to provide a safe space for the Jewish community at UCF to gather and thrive.
The world is a challenging and stressful place right now and this fall it is going to be even more so. We are committed to providing your students with all the support they need to not only get through this, but to do so in a way that turns this stress into personal growth.
Unlike those unfortunate lobsters that use stress to shed their skin while they are alone under a rock, our students don't have to go through this alone. Change and even stress can be a good thing if we approach it properly and with your partnership and support, that is precisely what we intend to keep on doing.
Thank you for your support and Charge on Knights!
Click here to read Aaron's article in eJewish Philanthropy: "Fighting COVID-19 and Racism with the Same Tools" in which he discusses the need to use education to change human behavior and combat our current challenges.