Rafael (Rafa) Borisonik (he/him)
Title: Class of 2023
“I always like to talk about being Argentine, just because I’ve met so many people who, you know, find out I’m Argentine, and they immediately say, ‘Oh, there are Jews in Argentina? I never knew that.’ And yes, it is a Catholic-majority country, but Argentina has a very tight-knit Jewish community.
I’m cognizant that Jews are a very diverse group of people who live all around the world and cannot be defined by a single story. The combination of my Argentine and Jewish identities reminds me of that.
These identities also remind me to stand up for people, interrupt stereotypes, and work across other groups to fight hate. As someone who’s Jewish and living in a time where you see a tremendous increase in hate crimes against Jews, I definitely feel a responsibility to stand up and say things to call people out.
At Berkeley, being an active member in the club Challah for Hunger allows me to combine every aspect of my Jewish identity – from my passion for social justice to how I strongly relate to being Jewish through food and cooking. Growing up, my family always cooked together, so cooking became a way that I relate to all my family. So every week, even if I’m just making the challah dough, I really look forward to it because it connects me to this larger community and my ancestry.”