Celebrating Shabbat and Holidays

When we celebrate holidays at Hillel, we create a welcoming environment for all Jewish students, regardless of practice, knowledge, or affiliation. Jewish holidays are one of the most important times for students to connect to Jewish life on campus. The students can join the broader Jewish community, including alumni, university faculty and staff, and local community members in celebration. 

Hillel professionals work closely with students to help them find the right opportunities to celebrate, explore and engage in year-round expressions of Jewish life. The students create meaningful and fun celebrations, which serve as a foundation for their Jewish life beyond the campus.

Since the High Holidays take place at the beginning of the school year, and Passover may fall during exam season, students must often balance their religious needs with their academic requirements. Hillel professionals are happy to counsel students about navigating the holidays, and can help them find the best way to experience holidays in ways that are meaningful to them.

The Meyerhoff Center for Jewish Experience creates materials to support learning about and celebration of Shabbat and holidays.

Shabbat, considered one of the holiest days of the Jewish year, is the weekly day of rest symbolizing the Jewish people’s relationship with God.
Read more about Shabbat at Hillel

The Jewish New Year, and the first of the Jewish high holidays, is a time of favor and forgiveness, of growth and improvement, and of new beginnings – not only for us, but for family, friends and community.
Read more about Rosh Hashanah at Hillel

Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, is one of most widely observed Jewish holidays and the second of the Jewish High Holidays.
Read more about Yom Kippur at Hillel

Sukkot is the harvest festival that commemorates the Israelites' wandering the desert following their Exodus from Egypt.
Read more about Sukkot at Hillel

Falling immediately after Sukkot, Shemini Atzeret is a separate holiday where we pray for rain in the upcoming year.
Read more about Shemini Atzeret at Hillel

On Simchat Torah, we celebrate the completion of the yearly cycle of Torah readings and begin it anew.
Read more about Simchat Torah at Hillel

On Chanukah, we light a menorah to celebrate the miracle of the Maccabee’s victory over their Assyrian oppressors, and to celebrate a single jar of oil lasting for eight nights.
Read more about Chanukah at Hillel

On Tu B'Shevat, we celebrate a New Year for the Trees, rejoicing in the fruit of the tree and the fruit of the vine.
Read more about Tu B'Shevat at Hillel

Purim celebrates the profound reversal of fortune experienced by the Jewish community of Persia when it was rescued by heroic intervention from Esther and Mordecai.
Read more about Purim at Hillel

Passover is the most celebrated Jewish holiday throughout the world, commemorating the Israelites’ exodus from a life of slavery in Egypt to freedom.
Read more about Passover at Hillel

Lag B’Omer is a holiday celebrated on the thirty-third day of the Counting of the Omer (literally, unit).
Read more about Lag B'Omer at Hillel

Yom HaShoah commemorates the six million Jews who died during the Holocaust.
Read more about Yom HaShoah at Hillel

On Israel’s Memorial Day, we commemorate the soldiers who have fallen while fighting for Israel’s independence and in defending its security.
Read more about Yom HaZikaron at Hillel

Israel Independence Day celebrates the State of Israel's establishment on May 14, 1948.
Read more about Yom Ha’atzmaut at Hillel

Shavuot celebrates the anniversary of the day the Jewish people received the Torah on Mount Sinai.
Read more about Shavuot at Hillel

Tisha B’Av is a national time of mourning for the Jewish people, commemorating many tragedies throughout the generations, including the destruction of the Temples, the Spanish Inquisition, pogroms, and the Holocaust.
Read more about Tisha B’Av at Hillel