North Carolina Hillel is the foundation for Jewish campus life at all colleges and universities in North Carolina (except Duke University) - the only statewide Hillel in the country. Based in Chapel Hill but serving campuses across the state, North Carolina Hillel's staff and student interns work to create vibrant Jewish campus communities and develop our community's future leaders.
The mission of North Carolina Hillel is to enrich the lives of North Carolina's Jewish undergraduate and graduate students so that they may enrich the Jewish people and the world. NC Hillel seeks to provide students with meaningful Jewish experiences and foster within them an enduring connection to Jewish life.
NC Hillel is committed to these core values:
- Creating a pluralistic, welcoming and inclusive environment;
- Supporting students in growing intellectually, spiritually and socially;
- Helping students find a balance in being distinctively Jewish and universally human by encouraging them to pursue tzedek (social justice), tikkun olam (repairing the world) and Jewish learning;
- Embracing Israel and global Jewish peoplehood; and
- Delivering excellence, innovation, accountability and results.
What does it mean to be a statewide Hillel?
North Carolina Hillel is committed to serving all Jewish students around the state, regardless of the size of the Jewish population on campus. Our Director of Statewide Jewish Student Life works with all campuses except UNC-Chapel Hill to provide support and resources to Jewish students. We also have full-time staff at UNC-Chapel Hill working to support student leadership and provide meaningful experiences for Jewish students.
Where does the name Hillel come from?
Hillel was a famous rabbi who is taught, "If I am not for myself, who is for me, but if I am for my own self [only], what am I? And if not now, when?"
This is just a sampling of Hillel’s wisdom. His moral and legal decisions are the cornerstone for Jewish tradition and his message to us could never be more poignant than it is now. Learn more about Hillel.
How many Jewish students are around the state?
We estimate there are 2,500 Jewish students around the state. Of that, approximately 1,300 are undergraduate or graduate students at UNC-Chapel Hill.
What opportunities are there for graduate students?
All student opportunities provided through NC Hillel are also inclusive of graduate students. Please feel free to attend services, sign up for alternative breaks, or get involved in any other way. In the triangle area (Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill) graduate students and young professionals can get involved with Triangle Kesher, a partnership between NC Hillel and the Federations of Raleigh/Cary and Chapel Hill/Durham. There are similar Young Adult Divisions in Charlotte and Greensboro. In addition, there are a few Jewish groups for graduate students of specific programs at UNC-Chapel Hill.
Are there Kosher meals at NC Hillel?
The NC Hillel building is equipped with a full-sized, commercial-style Kosher kitchen. Although there is no regular Kosher meal plan at NC Hillel, a free Kosher dinner is offered every Friday night during the school year at the NC Hillel building in Chapel Hill. Additional free Kosher meals are offered at the NC Hillel building for various holidays throughout the year, and a Kosher for Passover meal plan is available for purchase each spring.
What Shabbat opportunities does NC Hillel provide on campus?
NC Hillel offers three Shabbat services at UNC-Chapel Hill almost every Friday night: Conservative, Reform, and Alternative. The Alternative service, instead of traditional liturgy, could consist of a learning session, story-telling, yoga or any other creative idea that the leader may choose. Before services begin, students from all three services join together for a student-written d’var Torah (piece of learning about the weekly Torah portion), and after services are over, students come back together for Shabbat blessings and a free Kosher dinner.
Most campuses, from the Atlantic coast (UNC-Wilmington) to the Western North Carolina mountains (UNC-Asheville, Warren Wilson College and Appalachian State University), host frequent Shabbat services and dinners. Visit the campus page to learn more about each school.
How do I sign up for Taglit-Birthright Israel?
Taglit-Birthright Israel is a free ten-day trip for Jewish students ages 18-26 who have never been on a peer trip to Israel. To learn more about this fantastic Jewish experience, please visit our Israel page.
NC Hillel, in partnership with Taglit-Birthright Israel, leads two trips per year, generally one in the summer and one in the winter. Registration for Taglit-Birthright winter trips happens at the beginning of the school year. For information regarding our current trip dates and eligibility, please contact Ari Gauss at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Do you offer Alternative Break service trips?
Yes. North Carolina Hillel is committed to social justice and service learning. We provide a variety of opportunities to do hands on service work around the world. Past trips have included rebuilding homes in New Orleans and working with children in poverty in Argentina. Learn about opportunities taking place this year.
What is Hillel’s policy stance on Israel?
Hillel is steadfastly committed to the support of Israel as a Jewish and democratic dtate with secure and recognized borders and as a member of the family of free nations. For more information on Israel related opportunities, please visit the Israel section of our website.
What campuses offer a Jewish Studies Department?
UNC-Chapel Hill offers numerous courses through the interdisciplinary Carolina Center for Jewish Studies, allowing for students to pursue a major in Jewish Studies or Hebrew Language. Appalachian State University, Elon University, UNC-Asheville, UNC-Charlotte, UNC-Greensboro, and UNC-Wilmington offer Jewish Studies courses, though they do not have a full Jewish Studies department. Appalachian State University and UNC-Charlotte offer a minor in Jewish Studies.
How is NC Hillel funded?
NC Hillel is its own non-profit corporation and is responsible for raising its own funds. Over 60% of our funds come from individual donors like you - parents, alumni, students, faculty and other community members who care about Jewish life on campus and believe that creating strong, positive Jewish identities in young people is important. Invest in our Jewish future by supporting NC Hillel's efforts.
We also receive generous support from the Greensboro, Charlotte, Durham-Chapel Hill, Raleigh-Cary, Winston-Salem, Fayetteville, and Asheville Jewish Federations as well as Hillel's Schusterman International Center.