by Ezra Castle
When I first started attending CSUN as an undergraduate student, I found it very difficult to find a spiritual outlet in which I could feel relaxed with my current level of Judaism and stimulate growth. That changed about two years later when I met Rabbi Bryan Borenstein at Hillel and started attending his weekly Mishmar classes. Rabbi Bryan’s discourses provide an incredibly welcoming and intellectually stimulating atmosphere, and always shows a deep sense of respect and caring for everyone in attendance. He has a unique talent to combine the deep spiritual and Kabbalistic facets of Judaic law with a very pragmatic sense of its practical application. Now, years later as a graduate student, I continue to attend Mishmar to learn more about my heritage as well as grow in my understanding of religious observance. I can say with complete honesty I would not be the same person I am today were it not for these experiences. I am thankful to Hillel and Rabbi Bryan for continuing to provide such an amazing atmosphere as Mishmar in which so many students like myself are able to grow and form deep connections to Judaism as a whole.