UMass Amherst
Judaic and Near Eastern Studies

UMass Hillel

telephone: (413) 549-1710

     Hillel stands at the center of Jewish life on campus. In this warm and lively environment Jewish students of all backgrounds – religious and secular – feel at home and included. Founded more than 50 years ago, Hillel at UMass Amherst does tremendous work in fostering Jewish pride on campus and is recognized internationally as a leader in creative campus programming. The diversity and quality of its activities have brought numerous international awards; it is the only campus Hillel in the world to win the William Haber Award for outstanding programming five times!

     Hillel is one of the most active student groups on campus with approximately 70 percent of the University’s 3,000 Jewish students participating. Working in partnership with students, the committed staff generates a dynamic array of social, cultural, religious, and community service programs that are relevant to student interest and needs.

     Students come to Hillel for many reasons:

  • to explore their Judaism;
  • to make lifelong friends;
  • to raise their awareness and celebrate their heritage;
  • to enjoy a congenial spot for study and relaxation; and
  • to live out the Jewish value of tzedakah (charity).

     Year by year, activity by activity, students affirm their Jewish identity and prepare for a lifetime of participation in the community.

     The University benefits from this well-established Hillel. It enlivens the multicultural character of the entire community and attracts Jewish students to the campus. Many students say that it was the decisive factor in their choosing the University. Parents also note a dramatic impact on their children’s lives. One mother noted: “Hillel provides a place for my daughter to feel safe and connected. With her so far away from home, I rest easier knowing that there is a strong Jewish community receiving her with open arms.”

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This site is maintained by the Department of Judaic and Near Eastern Studies, A Department of The College of Humanities and Fine Arts.