The Hillel JUC provides students in the Pittsburgh area a Jewish home away from home. With sensitivity, creativity and lot’s of humor the organization has managed to attract students from different Jewish experiences and background and enable all to have a place for personal and spiritual growth. From the first moment one comes into the building, it is clear that it’s a welcoming place – though this may be obvious to all who have experienced the Hillel JUC, this is not always the case and I credit the incredible staff and leadership. Over the past six years I have followed the activities, the innovation, the spirit and the growth – continue to do a great job. Yesher Co’ach
I've received the email newsletter for years and admired the breadth and depth of the activities and programs and resources. The website and emails are extremely well done. I've also attended a couple Jewish Faculty gatherings at the Hillel JUC building. They have been interesting, enjoyable, and very worthwhile.
The Hillel JUC offers so many options for students wanting to connect to their Judaism and their community. As director of the Squirrel Hill Food Pantry, I am lucky to have Hillel JUC students pack bags of food for our clients, host kosher food drives and be the beneficiary of a great Chanukah toy drive for our families. Our program was also a beneficiary from their Campus Super Star event. On a personal level, our family participates in the new Family Ties program. We could not have asked for a better match! My young daugthers have quickly bonded with Ashley and are looking forward to a long relationship thanks to the JUC!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Over the past few years while visiting friends and family I have seen Hillel grow to be not only a social focal point, but also a Jewish voice on campus and for the Jewish community of Pittsburgh. It is though Organizations such Hillel JUC that the Jewish community of the future depends.
As an interested community member and university faculty member, I have attended several JBurgh events just to see what it is all about. I must say that I was most impressed with the enthusiasm and the attendance. They have attracted university types who no doubt would have no other opportunity to get together and would not take advantage of anything like this unless it was all organized for them. There is simply no other Jewish game in town for these young people. JBurgh has created a "buzz" on campus that is just great. The targeting of these young people is so essential and I am just thrilled that Pittsburgh has gotten JBurgh up and running to attract and appeal to this most important age cohort.
The Hillel JUC of Pittsburgh is my favorite place on campus. It is warm and friendly. There are always people there who want to talk with you. I am a student and I have been very involved with Hillel since my early days as a freshmen in college. I love that we have Shabbat dinners every friday night, but I am sad to see that because they cost money this year, they are not as popular and vibrant as they were last year. Shabbat dinners are the highlight of my week, and I know many of my friends feel the same way. Everyone at Hillel hopes we can find a way to have the extremely active, and warm Shabbat dinners we once had. Other experiences I have enjoyed with Hillel are different events we have had, including when we saw Fiddler on the Roof downtown. That was a great night, and a very cultural experience! I feel that my connection with Hillel will continue to grow.
I was wandering near campus and happened in to see what was going on. While inside I caught part of a lecture, and spent a brief time looking at the art on the walls. Coming away from the building I felt there was life at the facility and that the whole project is imbued with high-quality.
I'm from Austin. My daughter began Carnegie Mellon University this August. During the first day of orientation we opted to attend the luncheon at the Hillel JUC of Pittsburgh. I expected the food to be wonderful and I wasn't disappointed. What I didn't expect was to be greeted with such warmth and welcome from the staff of the Hillel and the other parents from all over the country. While I was there I signed my daughter up for the Chai Circle. As fate would have it, she became sick with the flu the first week of classes. She called the Chai hotline, and as promised, a jar of delicious and medicinal Chicken soup was delivered to her dorm. It gives me a much needed boost of motherly peace-of-mind to know my daughter has the multitude of resources via Hillel JUC of Pittsburgh.
Hillel supported me to help create a Jewish a cappella group at the University of Pittsburgh. From day one of the VoKols, there has been incredible support-emotional and monetary for any endeavor we have pursued as a group. Without a cappella, my college career would be MUCH less meaningful and I wouldn't have made nearly as many Jewish, life-lasting friendships.
The organization is a great way to connect college students to the community. Nice place to find some "nice Jewish kids" to babysit.
My Friend Ethel Corn told me that the Hillel JUC meant so much to her, espically after her husband Sam died. As a member of AEPi, we would work with project that supported JUC, but I never knew my efforts would help a friend. There are so many organizations that never reached their milestones, while the Hillel JUC exceeds theirs. Our continued support makes a difference
The Hillel JUC of Pittsburgh is a wonderful inviting place where I have seen fabulous programs and events reach out to many students. From their Shabbat dinners which draw a ton of students, to cultural events, and student involvement in the community I continue to be impressed with all that Hillel offers.
We came to visit our son at the Univ. of Pittsburgh on a cold and blustery February weekend. His usual Friday night routine, is to go to the Hillel Foundation, shared by Univ. of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon and Dusquene Universities. From the moment we walked in (and we were the only parents there that weekend), the warmth exuding from staff and students alike was exilarating. The students mixed together, regardless of their academic pursuits, their religious inclinations or where they lived or studied. It is unusual to find a campus environment where everyone is welcome, feels at home, and stays beyond mealtime to socialize. This is an institution that doesn't feel like an institution, and place where students can establish new friendships and explore meaningful issues without the worry of grades, and a home away from home. (They even send chicken soup, the best medicine there is, to students who are fighting the flu or a cold in the dorms or at home.) Such checking in on a student who feels 'under the weather',resonates with parents far from their kids.
My son is a second-year student at the University of Pittsburgh. From the first time we visited during his junior year in High School, the Hillel JUC Of Pittsburgh played a role in our choices. They welcomed us as visitors that first time, and described a comprehensive program serving students that seemed hard to believe. Free Shabbat dinners, services of all kinds, and a really cool place to hang out (big-screen TV, game consoles, books, and everything else you can ask for). They told us if there was something we thought was missing, we could put together a proposal and it would be considered. Amazing! Once my son arrived at Pitt, Hillel continued to be as welcoming and nurturing as we thought they could be. From the Shabbat services and dinners to the "Chicken Soup Patrol" (they visit the students in the dorm and take them soup if they're sick) they made it just that much easier for me to be hundreds of miles away from him. He met lots of other Jewish students there, and formed friendships. Now in his second year his schedule is less conducive to regular visits, but he still spent Yom Kippur with his Hillel friends because he couldn't be at home, and that just gives you a good feeling. This is a first-class organization that focuses exclusively on the students' needs and fills a real gap in the life of a university student. As a parent, I'm very glad they're there!
I recall attending Hillel dinners as an undergraduate student, and know that the same experience is important to many of my own students at the University of Pittsburgh. Hillel JUC of Pittsburgh is a stellar presence in our community. Keep up the great work!