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FAQs

What is Hillel?

Hillel is the Foundation for Jewish Life.   Hillel supports Jewish life on hundreds of campuses around the world.

 

How many Jewish students at enrolled at UMBC?

We estimate that there are one thousand Jewish undergraduates enrolled both full and part-time at UMBC and hundreds of graduate students as well.

 

Is there a kosher meal plan?

Fresh sandwiches and wraps are available for purchase in the Commons.  True Grit's, the campus dining hall, serves hot kosher meals Sunday through Thursday at dinner time under Star-K supervision.

UMBC Hillel provides Shabbat dinner and lunch.

There is a kosher microwave in our offices in the Interfaith Center.

 

What is Shabbat like?

Every Friday night, there are services in the Interfaith Center at 6 PM followed by dinner at 7:00 PM. You can come to services, to dinner, or to both. Dozens of students gather each week for these participatory Shabbat experiences. Students gather for Shabbat lunch as well at noon on Saturdays at the Interfaith Center.  Periodically there have been services on Shabbat day and we are happy for students to continue to organize more of these.

 

How many students are active in Hillel?

UMBC Hillel professionals, student interns, and student leaders are in personal contact with about three hundred Jewish students on campus each year.

 

Is there a daily minyan (prayer group)?

Recently there has been an Orthodox-style minyan that has met for mincha (afternoon services) during standard time.  We are happy to host these services based on need.  For more information about mincha minyan, email umbcminyan@gmail.com.

 

Where is Hillel located?

Everywhere!  UMBC Hillel tries not to see itself as an entity with a concrete time and space. As the Foundation for Jewish Campus Life, Hillel is located all over the UMBC campus through one-on-one conversations, programs, and all sorts of meaningful Jewish experiences.

 

Okay, but where are your offices located?

Our offices are located at the Interfaith Center (IFC). The IFC is located between Susquehanna and Chesapeake residence halls and is a two-minute walk from The Commons, the library and the dining hall.

 

The Interfaith Center? But I see myself as more culturally Jewish than religiously Jewish? Is there a place for me at Hillel?

Yes, and you are not alone. Studies show that many college students think of their Judaism as a culture and not as a religion. Avram Infeld, the former director of International Hillel, loves to remind students that "Judaism is not a religion,"; it is a family, a community, and entire culture. It was only after Emancipation in Europe that some Jews started thinking of Judaism as a "religion." Rabbi Moredecai M. Kaplan called Judaism an "evolving religious civilization," meaning that Judaism consists of people with traditions, art, music, language, land, bound together by a shared history, a shared destiny and a common quest for meaning.

 

And if I do think of Judaism as a religion?

Yes, you are most welcome too!

 

Are there Judaic Studies classes at UMBC?

There sure are!  You can even minor in Judaic Studies. Click here for details.

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