provided great opportunities for me when I was a student at Carnegie Mellon. lots of spirit & a pleasant environment. great building!
Where do I begin? The Hillel JUC of Pittsburgh was literally a second home to me during my college years; I probably spent more time there than at my respective dorm or apartment in any given year. I served on the Social Justice committee as its head for two years as well as the Pitt student board, participated in the weekly activties, and interned for two years with Campus SuperStar. Not only did I make so many friends and become close with the staff, but I also became very well-connected with the LAY Board and the Pittsburgh Jewish Community. The amount of dedication by the staff and community is unmeasurable and has impacted so many Pittsburgh area students. From my experiences via Hillel, I grew a lot as a person and has served well for my professional life. In fact, I felt that my experience was so meaningful, I choose to work as the International Programs Coordinator at Hillel Uruguay from August 2008-August 2009 in order to help give other students a taste of what I was given during my time at the JUC. I was so lucky to have been given numerous opportunities throughout my 4 years with the JUC. I would be crushed if students now would not be able to access those same opportunities - please help Hillel JUC continue to make those experiences.
As a student, Hillel has enhanced my college experience in ways that I cannot fully articulate. The feeling of community that comes along with an organization like Hillel is unique and extremely important for the lives of Jewish students at Pitt. Whenever I arrive at Hillel, I am greeted with warm smiles and friendly faces. I feel that I have returned home, to a place where I am understood and appreciated. Hillel is my home away from home.
Hillel has always been very supportive of Jewish activities and events. Whether it is providing space or funding, they can always pull through to help you get an event together.
I was in Family Ties, which hooks teenagers with families. I was put with a really awesome family which allowed me to first of all have family dinners here at school, but second of all it actually become quite like a real family to me!
I had experience with the Hillel JUC as a student and later as a faculty member at Carnegie Mellon. I particularly enjoyed attending the Shabbat services and dinners. It was absolutely fabulous what a welcoming experience it was there for all denominations and for young Jews from all over Pittsburgh. They instituted a speed babysitting evening to help connect local families with college students willing to assist them which is just a great idea and very helpful for both the local community and the students. The administration was outstanding and dedicated. It is in my opinion vitally important to have this kind of place available for both the Jewish students in Pittsburgh but also for our community. We need more organizations which can facilitate interaction and celebration of Jews of all backgrounds and ages in a central location and across all levels of observance. This is something that Hillel does exceptionally well. Their weekly social events, speakers, kosher food preparation parties, coffees and website all work together to promote a vigorous, lively, nurturing and exciting atmosphere. Their programming and social events are key elements in making this happen and I always found their events to be pleasant, rewarding insightful and joyous. This is an organization truly worthy of support.
The Hillel JUC of Pittsburgh was my first Jewish experience when I came to college, and it continues to be one of my most important. It's where I've gone for nearly all the major holidays in the past four years and it's where I've gone for all of my shabbat dinners as well. The Hillel JUC is a great place for students to congregate due to their excellent programming and opportunities, and has helped me meet and get to know countless other Jewish students from the Pittsburgh area. I hope that it is able to serve many more people in the future.
Being from Pittsburgh, Hillel JUC’ J'Burgh's programs have helped me reconnect with those I knew from my childhood but also meet new people in my age group as well. I have always been accustomed to a Friday night Shabbat experience (service, dinner, oneg, etc.) with those in my age group, whether it was through Hillel in college away from my hometown, USY or Camp Ramah. I have been able to continue that Friday night experience while participating in Hillel JUC’s J'Burgh's East End Minyan. In addition, as a board member of Congregation Beth Shalom, I have witnessed the efforts Hillel JUC’s undergraduate division and J’Burgh’s graduate division, which they have successfully conducted outreach and partnerships with its neighboring congregations, such as Congregation Beth Shalom in Squirrel Hill. For many years, they have coordinated their undergraduate and graduate students to attend Beth Shalom’s High Holiday and weekly Shabbat services as well as work in the synagogue’s Religious School, Pre School, USY and Kadima. Hillel JUC and J’Burgh have ensured their students who are accustomed to having a family-style (meal) atmosphere on the High Holidays made possible. Beth Shalom families have welcomed students into their houses with open arms. In return, Beth Shalom has generously helped sponsor and attended Hillel JUC’s Shabbat dinners and fundraisers over the years. Hillel JUC’s and Hillel JUC J’Burgh’s students have made a positive impact on Beth Shalom’s programming, services and schools, and positive interactions with the congregation’s membership.
For my freshman year of college, I attended a small liberal arts school in central Pennsylvania. I was very disappointed in the Jewish life there and I decided to transfer out of the school. I looked at and toured a few other college, but none seemed to have a strong Jewish community that connected with both the students and the local community. When I stepped into the Hillel JUC of Pittsburgh, I was overwhlemed with all of its offerings. It's a huge 3-floor building with an activity longue, an Israeli-style coffee house, a library and an all-purpose room. There's an entire staff dedicated to student and community involvement/opportunities. I was also impressed with the Shabbat Dinners. On average they had about 200 people; at my small college, I was used to 20 people at Shabbat Dinner. Since my time at Pitt, I have made many wonderful friends, joined many clubs (some Jewish based, some Israel based) and I have connected with the local Jewish communities on many frontiers. All of that was possible because of Hillel JUC of Pittsburgh!
We just came back from visiting our freshman son at University of Pittsurgh. For the past two months I have been bugging him to go check out the Hillel, but of course he did not go. On Sunday this past weekend they had a wonderful brunch which we all went to, and my son had a great time. Everyone was so friendly and welcoming, and the place is very warm, comfortable, and inviting. My son met some kids there that he already knew, and was impressed with the facility. I think he needed a push to go, but now he says he plans to go back on his own. He could go to Friday night Shabbat dinner, services, social events, or just to hang out and meet other Jewish kids. That brunch was a great idea!