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.