As a parent of an active Hillel student volunteer, I have seen first hand the many ways that Hillel is making a difference in the local community and beyond. Hillel reached out to our daughter before she even arrived on campus as a freshman at Pitt. She suggested that we visit during orientation and the welcome feeling that we experienced and the feeling of being at home was one that continues every time we walk in the building! Hillel has made a tremendous impact on our daughters life- she is now a senior at Pitt and has been active in the student board. Through her invovlement I have watched her grow into dymanic leader and community volunteer. It would be hard to capture in a short review the many ways that Hillel has positively impacted our daughter. I am truly thankful that this organization is her home away from home and for the many wonderful staff and volunteers that make Hillel
Wether it's running services or a program, the Hillel JUC does an excellent job making jewish life accessible to any student who comes by and makes it engaging.
The Hillel JUC of Pittsburgh has broken the mold, bringing programs and opportunities for identity building out onto the campus where the students are, rather than waiting for the students to find them.
I became involved when I was brought by a friend to a Shabbat dinner, where more than a hundred kids were singing, praying, and eating together. It was a wonderful, emotional thing to watch. It made me know that this Hillel is very special and an organization I want to be part of.
I went on the Birthright trip in 2006, and afterward spent time at Hillel. I enjoyed exploring my culture and getting to know others like myself and participating in events related to my background. I would definitely recommend Hillel to others looking to explore their heritage in a welcoming environment that also has no fees.
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.
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.
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
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"
I came to the Hillel as a curious freshman just looking for a place to make new friends, have fun, and to serve as an outlet for my passions in college. I wasn't sure if Judaism was really important to me, but I'd been involved with NFTY in high school, so it seemed like a good place to start. From Hillel, I learned the incredible value of connecting with other Jews on campus. My Hillel friends - now my best friends at Pitt - are role models to me. And they're interested in the same things I am: social justice, spirituality, and fun. At a confusing age, I found my own identity in the Hillel community. In a world where money is needed to put food in hungry mouths and bring about political change, that may seem like a luxury. But Hillel's programming taught me (and others) how to do those other things, and why we should. Social action programs like Cram Jam showed me effective fundraising techniques like raffles, prizes, and donation-friendly events. Friday night dinners and services make me stop and think about how lucky I am, and how I can share my fortune with others. Educational programs like Rabbi Schiff's discussion group on sex stimulate my thinking. Hillel molds the future Jewish leaders of America, and the world.