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2009 Top-Rated Nonprofit

The Hillel JUC of Pittsburgh

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Children & Youth, Education, Judaism, Religion, Undergraduate Colleges, Youth Development - Religious Leadership

Mission: The Hillel JUC is the focal point for more than 5,500 Jewish University students and young professionals in Pittsburgh. Our mission is to enrich the lives of Jewish students so that they may enrich the Jewish people and the world. Together, we are building a new generation of Jewish leaders. Some call it Jewish life on campus. We call it... the future.

Geographic areas served: Pittsburgh

Programs: Provides religious, cultural and social services to students in the pittsburgh area.

Community Stories

122 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

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.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

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.

2

Board Member

Rating: 5

A great, welcoming organization that came so far in my 4 years as a board member and Hillel organizer. It really provides something for everyone -- whether your interests are social justice, sports, Israel, volunteering, or just about anything else, it's really possible to find your niche and grow as a Jewish individual.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 4

Hillel does an excellent job providing resources and support to Jewish students and campus organizations. In particular, the organization I work for has been able to fully fund Jewish programming for a number of years, helping to foster Jewish identity and participation in the students we represent. Recent economic conditions have caused some issues, but the organization as a whole runs very efficiently. Somewhat seperately, at least in the minds of students, Hillel has been the center of Friday Night observance for the Pitt, Carnegie Mellon, and Duquesne campuses, a fact that has allowed me to make friends across Pittsburgh and keep in touch regularly.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I had the honor and pleasure of serving as chair of the board of directors at the Hillel JUC of Pittsburgh from 2006-2008. Prior to that, I served on the board for 6 years on various committees. Being able to see first hand the passion and commitment that the staff and volunteers have in communicating their mission to the community has been an amazing experience for me. I believe very strongly that our future as a Jewish community will be as a result of the connections made through the programs and work being done here.

2

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I am constantly looking at their programming calendar, marketing materials, and vision and learning from them. They have some of the best marketing materials in the Hillel world.

2

Board Member

Rating: 5

Hillel JUC has been providing a Jewish community for Jewish college students for over 50 years. I have been on the board for 15 years and have seen seen our community grow dramatically through the help of great staff, a brand new building, and most importantly through the leadership of our students.

2

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The Hillel JUC of Pittsburgh offers an incredible array of programs and services for Jewish students. I am constantly inspired and impressed by their level of service to Jewish students and in creating Jewish community. They continue to be creative and push the envelope as a Hillel to connect students to their place in the Jewish story. Through programs like Campus Superstar they reach well beyond their building and delve deep into campus to make and impact.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

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.

3

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The Friday night Sabbat dinners draw a high number of Univeristy students and is a wonderful opportunity for students from all of the local Universities to get to know one another thus increasing their opportunity to meet Jewish students. It creates a positive community experience for students who look forward to it on a weekly basis.

8

Volunteer

Rating: 5

They have been very active on the college campuses in Pittsburgh, bringing in interesting speakers and being a positive advocate for Israel on campus. It is a really special organization and one in which the limelight should shine. Rena Becker

5

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

As a mother of two college kids Friday dinner and services became a great source of socialization with peers. As a director of a HUD senior housing Hillel volunteers are part of helping us keep the Jewish tradition for our Jewish frail seniors and from time to time we take advantage of a volunteer helping with our IT needs.

9

Donor

Rating: 5

Amazing, entrepeneurial, well run and managed organization. Constantly pushing the envelope to try new and innovative ideas. As a volunteer in one of their programs to "adopt" local college students, I see firsthand that Hillel JUC tries not only to engage Jewish college students, but to encourage their involvement with the greater community.

3

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I remember being totally turned off by the Hillel organization when I went to school in Florida. For that reason I was totally amazed by what I saw in Pittsburgh. The amount of programing, the Friday night dinners with hundreds of students and services for all denominations, the interaction between staff and students. All these made me realize what had been so lacking in my own experience many years ago.

3

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have been a teacher at Hillel JUC numerous times. Each time I am there, I am so very impressed with the level of learning that goes on among the students. In session after session, it is plain that Hillel JUC has stimulated a strong affiliation to and enthusiasm for Judaism on campus. Their wonderful building is a focal point for Jewish campus life, and a magnet for building community among a large number of young Jewish adults.

3

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I'm from out of town but each time I visited, the HIllel was buzzing - students every where - involved, active, interested, committed - and happy to be there. Can't help being impressed that these young students have such an inviting place to "hang" - one that encourages their Jewish Identity and culture.

3

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The Jewish University Center (Hillel) and J'Burgh have excellent reputations in the Pittsburgh community for engaging large number of young Jews in a meaningful way. Two of their programs which are particularly well-known to the community at large are outstanding: In one program, students are matched up with local families. This has the dual benefit of connecting students to local families, as their own families are far away, and giving them the opportunity to engage in Jewish activities they might not otherwise experience. To my knowledge, this is the first program of its type in the country. Although it was just recently instituted, there is an exceptional number of college students paired up. The people I have spoken to who participate in this program have all given its positive reviews. In addition, the Friday night Sabbath dinner draws an extraordinarily high number of Hillel members and meets its goal of creating a college and 20-something community, while engaging the participants in meaningful Jewish activity. Both of these programs consistently get excellent feedback from the people involved. These programs are two of the biggest reasons I am a supporter of this organization.

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

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!

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been involved with this organization for 10 years now in various capacities, and it has proved to be rewarding in each of those capacities. Whether it was introducing me to a new campus, helping with my job search, or getting me to meet new Jewish people in our community, the Hillel-JUC has always done an incredible job of welcoming me and my peers.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been active at Hillel Jewish University Center in Pgh for many years. The programs for the students are exciting and thought provoking. There is always something going on to keep the students informed and connected to Jewish life on campus and the Pittsburgh community. My husband and I have hosted many Shabbat dinners at Hillel and are involved in fundraising and "Campus Superstar"