Hillel is your pluralistic, inclusive, and diverse 7-C Jewish community organization where you can celebrate your Jewish identity in a fun and nurturing environment!
What does community mean to you? At Hillel, community is all about the relationships we build together and cherish for a lifetime. Whether getting coffee and having a conversation with your Hillel director, sharing a meal with new friends, or joining a Jewish learning group to explore life's big questions - Hillel is where you can find an affirming and nurturing community.Hillel events are open to everyone, so feel free to invite your friends. Check our Instagram feed below for upcoming events, and sign up here to get on the email list.
Our lives are hectic and stressful. Take one day each week to simply rest.Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel described Shabbat as a “palace in time" a day that connects us to our selves not as laborers, valued for what we do, but as unique image bearers of God, valued for who we are.In collaboration with the Chaplaincy, Hillel sponsors Shabbat dinners on a regular basis. Hillel student leaders also plan and lead spiritually meaningful services drawing on a variety of Jewish traditions. To learn more about the styles of upcoming services and about our shabbat dinners follow us on instagram @claremonthillel.
High Holidays 2023 / 5784
Rosh Hashanah is the Jewish new year, and it begins at sundown on Friday, September 15 and ends at nightfall on Sunday, September 17.SERVICES & MEALS
In collaboration with the Chaplaincy Office Hillel is delighted to sponsor services and meals for the holidays.Yom Kippur is the Day of Atonement, the holiest day of the year, and it begins at sundown on Sunday, September 24 and ends at nightfall on Monday, September 25.Services begin on Sunday Night with Kol Nidreh at 6:15 pm @ Balch Auditorium.
Fast Begins 6:26 pm
Monday Morning Prayer Services from 8-1 pm @ Balch Auditorium.
Neilah, the final and most holy service of the holiest day begins at 6:15 and will conclude with Havdallah at 7:21 when the fast ends.
A Break-Fast feast will be held immediately following the services.- Please note that you are welcome to join the community for what ever part of the services bring you joy and connection. Jewish prayer services, especially on the holidays, return over and over again to themes of change: reorienting our vision of reality, opening ourselves to our highest calling, letting go of past selves, the renewal of all things. These themes repeat almost like extended mantras. It is a deep spiritual practice to allow the words to envelope you and draw you into introspection. But it is also a process that a person might want to experience in smaller chunks. It is totally fine to take in only some of the practice by attending parts of the services.Some of the music we will be singing during the holiday services can be heard on this album: Beit PratIf you are observing Yom Kippur this year, be sure to talk to your professors at the beginning of the term to give them time to accommodate your absence from class on Monday.Sukkot, the Festival of Booths, begins at sundown on Friday, September 29 and ends at nightfall on Friday, October 6. Hillel will be sponsoring meals and events in the Sukkah all week. Keep watch on our Instagram page for info.Shmini Atzeret, which marks the beginning of the rainy season, begins at sundown on Friday, October 6 and ends at nightfall on Saturday, October 7.Simchat Torah begins at sundown on Saturday, October 7 and ends at nightfall on Sunday, October 8.
Passover 2024 / 5784
Passover begins at sundown on Monday, April 22 and ends at nightfall on Tuesday, April 30.Stay tuned for information about seders and meals.
Mission + VISION
Our mission is to enrich the lives of Jewish college students at the Claremont Colleges so that they may enrich the Jewish people and the world. Our vision is that every Jewish student at the Claremont Colleges makes an enduring commitment to Jewish life, Jewish learning, and Israel.
Dr. Bethany Slater joined as Hillel's inaugural executive director in August 2023. She has a background in nonprofit management, leadership training, human-centered design, community building, and interfaith and religious education. Most recently, she served as a visiting professor of religion at Denison University where she taught courses on Judaism, romantic love, and spiritual autobiographies of Jews, Christians, and Muslims. She earned her PhD at Boston College in comparative theology.
Board of Directors
PRESIDENT Gary Kates, Pitzer ’74
SECRETARY Cary Davidson, CMC ’75
TREASURER David Stiefel, CMC ’77
Julie Bronstein, Scripps ’90
Keri Eckstein, Pomona P’26
Sue Hochberg, Scripps ’63
Deborah Kallick, Pitzer ’78
Aviva Maxon, Scripps ’24
We are all created B’Tzelem Elohim – בצלם אלוהים – in the image of God. As a community, we seek to nurture an environment where everyone can exist as themselves and feel no need to pretend to be something they are not. In doing so we acknowledge and affirm the racial and ethnic diversity of our community and society as a whole. We believe in K’vod Habriot – כבוד הבריות, the idea that there is dignity in all creations, and we seek to treat others in accordance with these beliefs.We believe in the value of Shamor v’Zakor b’Dibur Achad– שמור וזכור בדיבור אחד, that we can simultaneously hold multiple realities in the way that we view the world. Hillel is a diverse community with a diverse range of opinions, and we want it to continue to be a safe space for all who wish to be a part of that community. As such, we respect the differences of opinion we all have among ourselves as long as individuals continue to respect the humanity of others.We value the time-honored principle of V’ahavta l’Reicha Camocha– ואהבת לרעך כמוך, or loving one’s neighbor as oneself, because we belong to and live alongside so many other vibrant communities both in the Claremont Colleges and in the world beyond them. To give back to these communities we care about so much, we commit to working with interfaith and non-religious organizations on campus, in Claremont, and in the broader world community. We hope that in collaborating with these organizations, we will be better able to carry out Tzedakah – צדקה (supporting those in need).We acknowledge that all of us will inevitably make mistakes and hurt others and therefore we affirm the value of Teshuva– תשובה (forgiveness). When wrongs do occur, we must seek to uphold justice through restorative measures. In the process, we will work to find a balance between a peaceful response and direct action against injustice. We engage in Lilmod v’Lilamed– ללמוד וללמד – learning and teaching – continually striving to understand the world around us and help others along that path. This means that we will not unnecessarily shame members of our community or use extreme measures in situations that can be addressed with caring and respect. However, we will also hold each other accountable for the effects of our actions and words on others.We believe in the value of Kol Yisrael Aravim Ze l’Ze– כל ישראל ערבים זה לזה, meaning that we are all responsible for each other. Therefore, we believe it is our duty to stand up in the face of injustice both in our community and beyond. In accordance with this value, we will strive to determine how to best support everyone in our community by providing guidance and support to community members that need it.We cherish Klal Yisrael- כלל ישראל, or Jewish peoplehood, by embracing all forms and expressions of Judaism. As a pluralistic Jewish organization, we accept without question the Jewish identities of those at Hillel. We acknowledge and affirm the racial and ethnic backgrounds of all Jewish people. We understand that different people have particular ways of expressing their Judaism, and we validate these various forms of Jewish existence. Accordingly, one can be part of the community without religious practice. Ultimately, we seek out ways of expanding our religious practice and communal traditions to better fit the needs and desires of our community. We believe that this diversity of Jewish identity makes our community stronger and more vibrant.We seek to embody the virtue of Hachnasat Orchim– הכנסת אורחים or hospitality. We welcome those who wish to be part of our community, especially newcomers to Hillel. It is our goal to create a nurturing environment in which one can be oneself. We endeavor to be physically, mentally, and emotionally accessible to all members of our community. In the end, we strive to improve our community at all levels and to make Hillel a positive and supportive community, not a combative one. We try to foresee the needs of our community, but understand that some people may need additional accommodations that we do not currently have in place. If this is the case for you, please reach out to Bethany, and we will be happy to provide what you need.STANDARDS OF PARTNERSHIP
Hillel may welcome, partner with, and aid the efforts of organizations, groups, and speakers from diverse perspectives in pursuit of our mission. Hillel will not partner with or host organizations, groups, or speakers that as a matter of policy or practice do not respect the human rights, self-determination, and aspirations for peace of all people, including Israelis and Palestinians. We ask that all invited partners abide by and demonstrate our Community Values. These guidelines do not limit any participant from engaging with our speakers and voicing viewpoints that may diverge from our Standards of Partnership, but we expect that all participants foster an atmosphere of civility and respect in line with our Community Values.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
How many Jewish students are there at the Claremont Colleges?
Out of the 8,000 students at the five undergraduate colleges and two graduate universities, we estimate that over 700 students identify as Jewish.I connect to Judaism culturally and socially, but not religiously. What does Hillel have to offer me?
We have many events are purely social and help build community. Everyone has their own journey, and as a pluralistic organization, we respect your path - whether it's religious or secular.I am an observant Jewish student. What does Hillel have to offer me?
We will work closely with you to help make sure your needs are met. Hillel is a pluralistic organization and works to make sure that every Jewish student has a seat at the proverbial table.What is the difference between Hillel and the Jewish Chaplain at the Claremont Colleges?
In the early 1970's, Hillel and the Claremont Colleges partnered to establish a Jewish chaplain who also served as the Hillel director. Over time, the responsibilities of each role became too demanding for one person. In 2023, Hillel and the Colleges agreed to separate the roles so that the Jewish Chaplain can focus on pastoral care, interfaith work, and religious life. Hillel partners with the Jewish Chaplain on Jewish ritual experiences and holiday observances while also building community through cultural experiences, social justice projects, and much more. Over time, Hillel will grow to accommodate more staff and expanded programs to engage more students.