Penn Hillel is one the best parts of being at Penn. Each year, Hillel reaches over 80% of the 1,750 Jewish undergraduate students on campus, with a dizzying array of different Jewish opportunities ranging from social justice to Israel, and from Jewish culture offerings to Jewish religious expression. No matter what your interest or Jewish background, Penn Hillel is there to get know each and every Jewish student by name and by story so we can help connect them to the next set of experiences, communities, and relationships that will provoke them to grow into Jewish adulthood.
Hillel is proud to offer a two-pronged approach to engaging Jewish students on campus. Inside Steinhardt Hall, under the banner of Hillel, there are over 40 different student communities and initiatives who create over 300 events per month. This includes a weekly soup kitchen, a wide variety of opportunities to engage with and learn about Israel, world famous speakers and public intellectuals, and alternative break trips to Rwanda, Israel and beyond. All of this is in addition to the nearly 300 students who experience Shabbat each week (we offer six different services on Friday night and four options on Saturday morning).
Penn Hillel also runs a separate organization called the Jewish Renaissance Project (JRP) that brings Jewish life to students who are not already involved. JRPs cutting-edge methodology brings Shabbat dinner, Jewish dialogue, and deep educational events to students in the dorms, the fraternity and sorority houses, and off campus in West Philly. By bringing Jewish life to students where they live, work, and play, JRP ensures that every Jewish student, regardless of background, can have a safe and meaningful space to explore and grow Jewishly.
Steinhardt Hall, our home base, is a state of the art facility that includes Falk at Penn Hillel, a kosher Penn dining hall that provides the best food on campus with the warmest and most welcoming community.
Penn Hillel`s mission is to create the relationships, experiences, and communities that provoke students to engage in a process of Jewish Self Authorship.€ Self Authorship is a term used to describe the process by which students come to understand themselves on their own terms and through which they enter into adulthood.
Hillel embraces this mission by encouraging students to:
Pursue tzedek (social justice) and tikkun olam (repairing the world)
Deepen their engagement with Israel and other Jews all over the world
Inspire new levels of spiritual exploration
Delve into expansive intellectual inquiry and Jewish learning
Celebrate and sweeten key moments of the year through Jewish holidays and ritual