100 Alumni We Love - Steven Shafir

Reflections on my time at HU

By Steven Shafir, Toronto

I came to study at Hebrew University after coming for 3 weeks on an organized summer tour of Israel after Grade 11. It was my first time in Israel and I fell in love with the country. I knew that I had to come back, and for an extended period of time. Little did I know that three years later, I would be on a flight for a year that would change my life.

I arrived in Israel in August 1998 and spent the year studying at the Rothberg International School on Mt. Scopus. This was the third year of my undergraduate degree in (B.A. in Political Science and History). The subject material taught and the friends made have left a lifelong impression on me and have solidified a relationship with Israel that is unbreakable. My Hebrew skills also greatly improved, and by the end of the year I went from not being able to ask a question to being proficient and able to get around without issue.

I continue to be very involved in the Jewish community both locally and nationally and am a member of the Board of Directors of the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs. I continue to be in contact with some of the friends I made that year on a daily basis.

I returned to Canada to finish my undergraduate degree and then immediately moved back to Jerusalem, where I spent a further year, working for Hillel at Hebrew University in 2000-2001. I had the chance to see another cohort of students experience the magic I had just 2 years prior.

  • Steven is currently a partner at Witten LLP, in Edmonton, Alberta.