Scroll through this page, and visit the links on the right, to learn more about Claremont Hillel and our programs and services. We encourage all students to get involved and implement activities that interest them. If we don’t already have something that captures your imagination, come help us to create it. Contact us, we are always open to new ideas!
SHABBAT AND HOLIDAYS
Hillel hosts a weekly Shabbat service and dinner for all students at the Claremont Colleges. The services are usually led by students. Services are followed by blessings over the challah and wine, and a kosher meal. Meals are usually home cooked in our kosher kitchen. The Shabbat service and meal are a unique chance for a wide variety of students to come together during the week to just relax. It is a wonderful chance to touch base with friends, and catch up after a sometimes hectic week. Please RSVP if you plan to join for dinner. There is no cost, but we want to have enough food for everyone.
Services are provided for both days of Rosh Hashanah. The Rabbi leads services and student volunteers participate in the leading prayers, Torah service, and English readings. The services are led according to an inclusive, liberal Hillel tradition and are open to the community at large. For Yom Kippur, we offer Kol Nidre, services all next day with additional activities planned between the traditional services such as meditation and yoga, walks, and study sessions. Break-the-Fast is open to the whole community.
We hold seders for the first and second night of Passover, and provide kosher-for-Passover meals for the duration of the holiday. The first seder is usually a more traditional one led by the Rabbi and the second seder is a less traditional and often led by a student. Pomona College has been so good as to let us kasher the kitchen in Oldenborg Dining Hall and use it to make kosher-for-Passover meals for the duration of the holiday. The delicious meals are cooked by the Oldenborg Dining Hall Manager and wonderful staff. Oldenborg Dining staff have created Passover meals for us for many years and we are blessed with a superb chef.
We build a sukkah outside McAlister Center to host events each day of Sukkah. Students are welcome to bring food and hang out during the holiday!
Purim & Hannukah
We host social parties and opportunities to celebrate the religious observances of holidays.
Here at Hillel, we organize a variety of social justice programs as well as food drives and community service projects . We also participate in the MultiFaith Service Council through the Chaplains Office and help organize such events as a Hunger Awareness Week including an interfaith dialogue on hunger and Stop Hunger Now, a day when we packaged over 20,000 meals. Students participate in alternative breaks and local service events. We look forward to expanding our social action programs and would love your input!
Additionally, Challah for Hunger at Scripps, founded by a past Claremont Colleges Hillel student, bakes and sells over 300 challot weekly to raise money and awareness for charity.
First Year Students at Hillel
First Year Students of Hillel (FYSH) is an innovative program that provides compelling and engaging entry-points to Jewish life for incoming freshman on the Claremont campuses. Our goal is to provide a strong foundation of Jewish-identified engagement opportunities right out of the gates, building a basis for continuity and growth, and participation in our Hillel community. For the 2013–2014 school year, FYSH has many great experiential, interactive, spiritual, social, educational, and identity-building programs planned. We have hosted the Welcome Barbeque, Candy Apple Making, Fro-Yo Field Trips, the Jewish Community Retreat and look forward to many more events! Our FYSH Council is comprised of first year students from each of the Colleges who are committed to planning Jewish programs for their peers.
Culturally, Hillel provides both social and educational opportunities. Our social events are usually weekly, low key events that are chill, fun, and good study breaks. While some of the events take place at the McAlister Center other events take place in the dorms or around campus. Our social events are a great place to meet people and just hang out. For our bigger, high-energy events such as the Purim Party and comedy events like Stand Up for Peace, we collaborate with other Jewish groups on campus. Some of the social events that Hillel sponsors are Karaoke Nights and Sushi in the Sukkah. Guest poets and musicians range from Ladino rock musician Sarah Aroeste, the Yuval Ron Ensemble, to S. Bear Bergman on the intersection of Queer, Trans and Jewish Identity to Stand Up For Peace Comedians and our own Kosher Chords. We host study breaks for students in the local coffee house, go on road trips to JEWLICIOUS, and learn Israeli dancing. Additionally, we plans fun social events such as the Hanukkah Fried Food Fest, the Purim masquerade party, and Sushi in the Sukkah.
Hillel offers weekly Friday night services, services/celebrations for every Jewish holiday during the school year, and frequent opportunities for text study. Religiously, Hillel strives to embrace the pluralistic community it has been blessed with by inviting students from all denominations and backgrounds to participate in and lead religious events. Hillel also attempts to make Jews from all educational backgrounds comfortable with creating a community together.