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!