A Jewish Journey Comes Full Circle
When Dona Standel first enrolled as a freshman at San Francisco State University in 2005, she had few, if any, ties to the Jewish community.
While she grew up in the heavily Jewish San Fernando Valley, and had an
Israeli mother, Dona had no formal Jewish education and no real sense of
Jewish identity. “I didn’t even know that you could belong to a
temple,” Dona said. “That’s how unimportant it was in my family growing
It wasn’t until she happened upon a Hillel table in the spring of her
freshman year that Dona’s Jewish journey began. Although she’d always
had an active campus social life,
Dona felt that something was missing.
One day, while walking through campus, she came across a Hillel table.
“I finally paid attention to the word Hillel, and I thought, ‘that
sounds like something Jewish.’” The Hillel representative invited Dona
to a Shabbat dinner, and after that first Friday night meal, she rarely
Wanting to connect with people around her Israeli heritage, Dona
began attending Israel Coalition meetings. Immediately, she said, she
felt a “familial connection.” By her sophomore year, Dona was a Koret
Intern, helping to plan Hillel events. And now, as the Undergraduate
Program and Engagement Coordinator at San Francisco Hillel, 22-year-old
Dona has the opportunity to reach out to Jewish students the same way
that Jewish students reached out to her.
Were it not for our funding of San Francisco Hillel, and seven other
campus Hillels around the Bay Area, Dona may never have had the chance
to discover her Jewish identity, let alone become a proud Jewish
professional. However because of the economic recession, our ability to
continue to fund Hillel – among other key communal services – at current
levels, is in jeopardy. Hillel, like so many of the programs and
services we support, counts on the Federation for a significant portion
of its budget. We are in a crisis situation, and we are asking you to
help us meet the challenge.
Thanks to the Goldman Family dollar for dollar matching grant, you
can double your gift’s impact on programs like Hillel.
- Current donors under the age of 50 who increase
their gift from the previous year will get a dollar for dollar match on
the increased portion.
- New donors under the age of 50 who make
their first pledge to the JCF Annual Campaign
will have their gifts doubled.
Don’t let a future Jewish leader slip through the cracks. Please give to the Annual Campaign today.
Acting CEO, Jewish Community Federation