Frequently asked questions
How many Jewish students are there at the University of Hartford?
There are approximately 700 Jewish undergraduate and graduate students.
How many members does Hillel have?
None! There is no such thing as "membership" at Hillel. Everyone is welcome to participate in any of our programs.
What kind of students are involved in Hillel?
There is no one kind of Jewish student. Our community is intentionally pluralistic and welcoming of all students, Jewish and non-Jewish, and we support all students’ journeys. University of Hartford Hillel is dynamic, student-run, and student-centered, with a variety of programs and opportunities for all students. Everyone is welcome and encouraged to participate in our diverse range of programs, as together we celebrate our own traditions and learn about others.
What activities does Hillel offer?
Our warm and welcoming Hillel is a place where students gather for bagel brunches, Israeli cooking classes, Shabbat dinners, Hanukkah candle-lighting, movie nights, social justice initiatives, and much more! University of Hartford Hillel offers social, cultural, educational, religious and spiritual, tikkum olam (community service), and Israel-related programs that are designed and planned by our students, with staff mentorship and support. We celebrate Shabbat every week, mark the Jewish holidays, and follow the rhythm of the Jewish calendar. Our incredibly fun programs meet the requirements for safe on-campus events, and our Hillel Lounge is located on the residential side of campus.
How do I get involved?
That is the easy part! Join us at one of our upcoming events or stop on by in between classes and introduce yourself. We cannot wait to meet you.
What if I'm only Jew-ish, emphasis on the ish? I call myself a cultural Jew/Agnostic/Atheist Jew/Jew from an interfaith family?
There's no such thing as a "bad Jew" here. We accept everyone where they are, and, encourage everyone to explore more. We hope you'll join us in digging into the deep stuff, like spirituality, ritual, and life’s big questions. But at the end of the day, our mission is to help you decide what your relationship to Jewishness is.
Is Hillel kosher?
All food prepared in the Hillel Center is kosher. We order all of our catered meals from the kosher station in Commons or The Crown Market in West Hartford, both of which are supervised by the HKC - Hartford Kashrut Commission. Hillel will order vegetarian food from non-kosher restaurants for some outside events, but will always have kosher food available.
How does Hillel celebrate Shabbat?
Every week during the school year, our Hillel community gathers for Shabbat services and dinner. The joy of Shabbat is felt through singing, lighting the candles, a D'var Torah (a piece of Jewish learning), and meeting new people. Services begin at 5:30 pm followed by a delicious kosher dinner at 6:00 pm. Shabbat meals are free for all students. Often Shabbat dinners will be themed. Click here to learn more about Shabbat at Hillel.
Is there a Jewish Studies program at the University of Hartford?
The Maurice Greenberg Center for Judaic Studies at the University of Hartford is one of the top destinations for Jewish students across the country. They offer a Bachelor of Arts in Judaic Studies with a rich array of exciting classes in six different areas: history, Yiddish, Arabic, bible, Holocaust studies, and Israel studies. They also offer a minor in Judaic Studies for students of all backgrounds to give you an opportunity to enrich your program of study. The minor complements a variety of programs including education, history, English literature, philosophy, and international studies.
What can I do if I am going to be absent from class or an activity for a religious holiday?
If you're planning on missing class for religious reasons, The University of Hartford’s religious accommodation policy entitles you a religious accommodation, which requires students to negotiate with the instructor any make-up work. The best thing to do is to let your professors know AS SOON AS POSSIBLE in the semester when you'll be out of class. If the professor or graduate assistant does not accommodate a request, please contact Lisa Langsner.
Here's a sample message you can cut and paste into an email:
I am a student in your____ class, which meets on ___ at___ a.m./p.m. For religious reasons, I will be absent from class on _______. Please let me know what I should do to make up any work I will miss or if you have any questions.