Hillel Starter Pack

Welcome Prospective Student!

We are super excited that you interested in coming to U of I!

The Jewish community here at Illini Hillel and on UIUC Campus is welcoming, inclusive, and life-changing. Here you'll make life-time friends, treasured memories, and grow as a person, leader, and a Jew. 

 

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WELCOME CLASS OF 2026

Congrats on becoming an Illini!

Fill out this form and we'll be in touch to show you all things Illini!

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Hillel Bucket List

 
Hillel Building

The Hillel Cohen Center for Jewish Life

Visiting Campus? Stop by Hillel!

Come get a tour of building and see for your own eyes how Hillel becomes a home on campus. Reach out to one of our staff members to let them your coming or just stop by during business hours.

 

Our staff members and leadership council are here to help you in this next chapter of your life. Reach out to them and they would love to help you!

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The Hillel building is located at 503 E John Street. Just two blocks from the main quad, one street over from Green (where all the restaurants are), and one quick bus ride from all dorms, Hillel is centrally located. The building is open from 10am to 10pm during the week and 9am to 9pm on Saturdays.

 

With free wifi, free coffee, free snacks, and a kosher lunch cafe in the building, Hillel is a great place to stop by during the day to study or hang with friends. 

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Events!

Hillel hosts social, religious, and educational events nearly every day of the week! Our weekly events include Sunday Bagel Bruch, Shabbat dinner, Thursday learning at both lunchtime and dinnertime. 

 

We also host events for every Jewish holiday like Make your own Matzah Pizza for Passover, a Bonfire for Lag Bomer, visiting the local apple orchard for Rosh Hashanah, and we celebrate in our own Sukkah on the rooftop deck for Sukkot. Learn more about Holiday programming!

 

We also host annual social dances like Barn Dance and MatzahBall so come ready to party! Once a year, we also have a Shabbat Camping Trip in the local state park. 

 

But that’s not all! Other events we host may include arts and crafts night, challah bakes, game nights, hiking, laser tag, escape rooms, and so much more! Check out this week's events to get a taste of what we do! 

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No matter how you identify - Reform, Conservative, Orthodox, or just Jewish - we have a place for you. Every Friday night we host Reform, Conservative, Orthodox services. If services are not your jam, just come for a free community dinner to catch up with friends and relax after a week of classes. Along with Shabbat activities, each community hosts weekday events. 

Hillel Student Groups

Within Hillel, student groups thrive! Running informational events, fundraisers, and social gatherings, each group is very successful. There is a place for everyone at Hillel!

 

LGBTJew is a community of queer Jews that host weekly events like gayke and study hours. They also show their Jewish queer pride in the CU community. One of their big events is the annual Purim Drag Show!

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Israel is a huge part of the community. There are various pro-Israel groups including IlliniPac and Illini Students Supporting Israel. Visit Israel by traveling with Hillel on Birthright or the other Israel programs we offer. 

Jewish Greek life is thriving on campus. U of I has one of the largest Greek life systems in the nation, with four fraternities and sororities that have a Jewish affiliation. 

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Orthodox Jewish Life is also thriving on campus. With weekday maariv (evening prayer services), one-on-one learning opportunities, a functioning eruv, and two kosher dining options, there is a variety of programming available to the Orthodox Community in C-U. 

The Hillel Leadership Council creates a pluralistic environment that welcomes and engages as many students as possible to explore and celebrate Judaism. 

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SCHOLARSHIPS

Hillel also offers three unique scholarships. The Karson Family Scholarship is awarded to an incoming freshman who fosters Jewish student leadership. The Bernard Heerey Family Foundation scholarship is aimed at enhancing Jewish learning and ritual. And the Joe Pedott Student Assistance Fund is open to anyone in need of assistance. Apply to them here!

We hope to see you soon!