Staff and students work together to provide the most relevant, impactful, and fun programs and opportunities for the Jewish students and broader campus community.
Approximately 1,100 of Miami’s undergraduate students are Jewish. More than 60% of them are connected to Hillel or its groups. In an average year, our Hillel has between 500 and 600 participants in its programs. Our initiatives have been well received and appreciated by the university with Hillel programs receiving many awards over the past eight years.
Hillel strives to create awareness, understanding, and appreciation of others, Israel, and today’s societal issues as well as encourage a call to action. Programs are often collaborative among other student organizations or university departments and take place in a welcoming and inclusive environment at Hillel as well as on and off campus.
Students look to build communities with peers focusing on issues and ideas that are personal to them. Personalized Jewish experiences and small group learning are the present and future of Jewish education and engagement. We are proud to be part of Hillel’s movement-wide Peer Network Engagement Initiative (PNEI - Engagement Interns).
Each year we train and empower a cohort of Engagement Interns to build micro-communities based on their interests and in areas that are personally relevant to them and their social networks. This can take place in or outside of Hillel, wherever is most comfortable for them. Our engagement interns are at the forefront, peers connecting with peers. They can reach the periphery of Jewish student life, where many of their peers tend to be.
Social justice is reflected in the ancient words of our prophets and sages, “Justice, justice shall you pursue!” (Deuteronomy 16:20). Hillel helps to impart this critical principal and mitzvah (obligation/good deed) through its education, activism, and service that address concerns facing society today.
Some of our signature programs are Challah for Hunger, the Winter Immersion Service Experience (WISE) trip Power and Privilege, Alternative Spring Break trip Immigration and Border issues, Sustainability Project and Urban Farming, Toys for Tykes, Voter Registration, Genocide and Holocaust, Untangled, Homelessness, Hunger, and Refugees.
Our Social Initiatives focus on fun and creative programs that are as diverse as our student population. We have offered in the past such as Melt into Second Semester, Hockey & Havdalah, Pizza in the Hut, Wing Wednesdays, Breakfast for Dinner, Zoo Lights, Trampoline Place, Shabbat Across Campus, Your Grandma’s Kitchen Cooking, Bowling Shabbat, Ice Cream Social, as well as many off campus trips.
Judaism can be celebrated in many ways and Hillel welcomes students from varied Jewish backgrounds and traditions. We respect, and honor these differences in all that we offer. We focus on relevant and meaningful ways to celebrate, learn, and enjoy all that Jewish life offers.
Hillel seeks to address practical barriers to participation in our Jewish community. We create and implement programs committed to building campus awareness and developing initiatives to encourage inclusion of students with a variety of differences in campus Jewish life. We focus on spiritual, cultural, and communal reflection and action necessary to ensure that we are inclusive of all students.
An important focus of our programming is all things Israel. Travel and study, education, and advocacy are provided throughout the year. A number of Israel oriented groups are represented on our campus.