Hillel - Jewish Student Association

What is Hillel?

Hillel is the largest foundation for Jewish campus life in the world! It was first started at the University of Illinois in 1923. Today, there are more than 500+ campus chapters throughout the United States and Canada. The mission of Hillel is “to enrich the lives of Jewish undergraduate and graduate students so that they may enrich the Jewish people and the world.”

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Who was Hillel?

Hillel was a sage known for his wisdom. He founded a school of thought and had many disciples. His messages were great lessons during his time and still ring true today.

Hillel said, "If I am not for myself, who will be for me? But if I am only for myself, who am I? If not now, when?"

Ethics of the Fathers, 1:14

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Synagogues in Lincoln

There are two synagogues in Lincoln. One reform and one conservative. Here is their information for students interested in getting involved in a Jewish community outside of Hillel.

Tifereth Israel (Conservative)
3219 Sheridan Boulevard
Lincoln, NE 68502
Office: (402) 423-8569
South Street Temple (Reform)
B'nai Jershurun
2061 South 20th Street
Lincoln, NE 68502
Office: (402) 435-8004
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Contact Hillel

Email: Hillel at UNL

Faculty Advisor: Jean Cahan
Gaughan Multicultural Center
Room 312
1505 S Street
Lincoln, NE 68508
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We urgently need and warmly welcome your participation in making Jewish student life on the UNL campus an even greater reality! Email us today to learn how you can get involved.

Passover Seder, UNL Hillel/Jewish Student Association, March 25, 2013

Hillel at UNL

In 2002, Hillel/Jewish Student Association was started back up (it had existed on this campus in earlier decades) by a small group of  committed students. Our group holds a pluralistic vision of Judaism and understands that Jewish students on campus come from very diverse backgrounds, both within North America and from other continents. We hope to provide a “home away from home,” especially on Jewish holidays and festivals.

Many but not all of our events and communal meals are held in the modern, spacious Gaughan Multicultural Center adjacent to the Student Union. When we get big enough, we hope to have a Hillel House! Please join us and come help make that possible!

During the academic year, Hillel/Jewish Student Association partakes in cultural and religious programming, such as guest speakers, Holocaust remembrance, Mideast politics discussion groups and philanthropic initiatives (also involving the Jewish community of Lincoln). Hillel also seeks to engage with Jewish students of other area campuses.  

Please be aware that Hillel/Jewish Student association at UNL welcomes non-Jewish members with an interest in learning more about Judaism.

Here are some of the activities our group has participated in:

      • Twice-monthly Friday evening Shabbat dinners
      • Attending High Holiday services at Reform and Conservative synagogues
      • Rosh Hashanah dinner, “Break the Fast” after Yom Kippur, Purim Party and Passover Seder
      • Building the first Sukkah on campus, and having an “open house” during Sukkot
      • Holding an annual Hanukkah Party on campus
      • Organizing joint events with Jewish students from other Big Ten Hillels
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