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Shabbat at Hillel 818

by Isak Radomski

Growing up Jewish in Malmoe, Sweden has not been the easiest.

Battling with antisemitism and the constant threat certainly affected my way of living in Malmoe. Almost all my Jewish friends in Sweden believe it would be dangerous to walk outside with a Star of David, or any other Jewish symbol because of the threats that are posed to you. For example, our Rabbi has been attacked multiple times. The attacks on the Rabbi and the Jewish Community has made headlines. President Obama even sent out a special envoy to monitor and combat antisemitism.

Being tired of the constant threat I decided to leave Sweden. I left Sweden in 2016 and found myself in Los Angeles in 2018. After moving to Los Angeles, I noticed that people are not afraid of displaying their Jewish identity publicly. I see people with kippahs, and Star of David necklaces just to name a few almost daily.

It was at Pierce College when I first heard about Hillel 818. I did not know anybody in the area, and Hillel 818 has helped me to change that. I started attending their regularly held Shabbat dinners, which made me establish a social Jewish life in Los Angeles. The events that Hillel 818 has hosted over the past year has made me realize what Judaism should be all about– bringing people together. With the help of Hillel 818 have I been able to get to know many wonderful people and tell them about what is happening in my hometown of Malmoe. Many of whom were very surprised by the fact that antisemitism is such a big threat in Europe.

We all should be grateful for being able to live in a community that is accepting of Judaism and all other cultures.

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