Who Are We?
At its most basic, Hillel is a community for almost 2,000 Jewish students on the UConn campus. We would not be who we are today without our passionate students who want to be a part of our community and help to create that community.
“Hillel is a home away from home for many Jewish students on campus whether they are looking to make friends or create a Jewish identity for themselves. In Hillel I found a community and a family who, without, I would not be the person I am today.”
- Emma Strumpf ’18
We are so fortunate to have our very own Hillel house here on the UConn campus. Since 1933, there has been a Hillel student group at UConn, but we didn’t always have a building. It is within the confines of the Trachten-Zachs Hillel House at UConn that we create our community, provide resources for students, and create meaningful Jewish experiences.
“The Hillel building is such an integral part of my UConn experience. It serves many different purposes for me: I come to study, I come for programming, and in its most simplest form, it provides for me a space to hang out with other Jews. This really is the home of the Jewish community at UConn.”
- Jared Stoller, ’20
Shabbat and Holidays
One of the most traditional aspects of Hillel is our weekly Shabbat dinners and other Holiday celebrations. It is the heart of who we are.
For many, it is their first
Jewish experience at UConn.
“As an Orthodox student, I look forward to Shabbat dinners every week not only for the religious aspect but also because it's a warm, welcoming environment. I feel like a part of the community seeing all my friends here and I love getting to create a beautiful Shabbat spirit with them.”
- Daniel Saxon ’16
Israel on Campus
Huskies for Israel is the only pro-Israel advocacy initiative on campus. In partnership with our Israel Fellow Noa Rifkin, we strive to bring a greater understanding of the state of Israel by providing education, advocacy, outreach, and social programming opportunities related to Israeli history, current events, politics, and culture.
“I went on Birthright this past summer, and even after being to Israel many times already to visit my family, I fell in love with the country even more. I feel it's important to advocate for Israel on campus and give students an accurate representation about it. I want to show people why I love Israel.”
- Nathan Schachter ’19
First Year Students of Hillel (FYSH) is a student-led mentorship program that aims to create an instant community for incoming students here at Hillel. We’ve already welcomed over 150 new freshman into our Jewish community this year!
“The FYSH program impacted me because I got to meet other Jewish students on a campus where I didn't know many Jews. Since the first day of school, I’ve come to Hillel everyday to hang out with my friends and engage in Jewish life and culture.”
- Shelly Silver ’20
UConn Hillel's newly formed group, the Grad(JEW)ate Student Organization, aims to provide social, networking, and educational events for Jewish graduate students across UConn's graduate schools. This is just one example of the exciting initiatives that Hillel can produce with your support!
“As a grad student at UConn last year, I realized how difficult it was to meet other Jewish grad students. and form a community and be a part of that community. It is my hope with this group that we can help grad students from across all UConn schools form a community, be a part of that community, and stay connected to their Jewish heritage.”
- Emily Block ’15
UConn students are committed to tzedek and tikkun olam. With our Social Action group, students are involved in projects such as donating apples before Rosh Hashanah, volunteering at animal shelters, and donating food to food pantries. And for the first time this year, UConn Hillel is participating in HuskyTHON, an 18-hour dance marathon with proceeds benefitting Connecticut Children’s Medical Center.
"I love the platforms, resources, and opportunities UConn Hillel has given me to make a significant impact on my community. One of my favorite social action projects this year is creating and leading our Hillel HuskyTHON team. I couldn’t be prouder to work with them and the rest of my Hillel community
in the upcoming year!"
- Miriam Katz '19