Hillels operate in 18 time zones, 11 languages, and 5 continents.
“Hearing the participants laughing and smiling in Russian, Ukrainian, Hebrew and English was indescribable. This is what Jewish Peoplehood is all about. Every student has a very different connection to their Jewish identity with different knowledge, experiences, traditions and cultures, but we are all united.”
- Matthew Vogel, Executive Director of Hillel at the University of Vermont, on the Kol Hillel student exchange program.
Hillel’s expansive global infrastructure ensures that, each year, we reach hundreds of thousands of Jewish students. From Texas to Tel Aviv, Toronto to Tbilisi, Hillel is the address for Jewish student life. There are more than 55 Hillels outside of the United States, in Argentina, Australia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Brazil, Canada, Georgia, Israel, Moldova, Russia, Ukraine, the United Kingdom, Uruguay, and Uzbekistan. Around the world, Hillel customizes its work to the unique elements of Jewish students, communities, and universities.
Hillel in Israel
More Jewish students live in Israel than in any other country in the world. Yet, while young Israelis speak Hebrew and follow the Jewish calendar, many perceive Jewish tradition as irrelevant to their lives. Hillel Israel offers a diverse array of activities that connect Israelis to a different kind of Judaism, and has tripled its reach in the past decade.
Hillel Israel’s experience proves that the best way to involve Israeli young adults is to create thought-provoking opportunities that they can share with other young Jews from around the world.
With eleven centers across the country, Hillel Israel serves the specific needs of Israeli, overseas and new immigrant students with cultural, educational, social justice, and leadership development initiatives. Hillel Israel engages more than 30,000 students, professionals and leaders.
Hillel in Russia and CASE (Central Asia Southeastern Europe)
In the Former Soviet Union, Hillel embraces Jewish students from a diversity of backgrounds, including those who have had little or no Jewish involvement or education. Many are grateful for the opportunity to explore and discover their Jewish roots for the first time. Hillel brings hundreds of these students to Israel for the first time via Birthright Israel trips, and facilitates their ongoing Jewish growth and involvement when they return, via compelling Jewish retreats, seminars, and community-building experiences.
Launched in 1994, Hillel Russia operates four regional Hillels and supports many small Jewish student groups across the country. Hillel Russia students participate in Jewish learning and celebration, arts and culture, community programs, and more.
Since 2009, Hillels in the Former Soviet Union have sent more than 3,000 participants on Birthright Israel trips.
Australia and the United Kingdom
From Australia to the UK, Hillel works closely with Jewish Student Unions to provide guidance and support to their student-led initiatives and campaigns. In the United Kingdom, UJS Hillel works closely with the UK’s Union of Jewish Students (UJS), providing both financial and administrative support for the UK’s Jewish students. In the Sydney, Australia Jewish community, there are about 2,100 Jewish students and 9,800 Jewish young adults.
The first South American Hillel opened in 2001. Today, Hillel has expanded and includes several Hillels across Argentina as well as centers in Brazil and Uruguay. Through Hillel, Latin American Jewish students focus on social action projects, Israel advocacy, global exchange, entrepreneurship, business clubs, and arts and culture. South American Hillels leverage the strength of local youth movements, which are stellar at engaging and grooming teens as emerging leaders.