Hillel at West Chester University aims to provide a pluralistic Jewish experience for the Jewish community at West Chester University. Hillel at WCU is a safe space in which students can explore their relationship to Judaism. Hillel is the home of Jewish social, educational, religious, and tzedek (social justice) opportunities. This year, our budget has been SLASHED IN HALF due to the fact that our main sources of funding have less money to give overall. Please help us to continue to build a vibrant Jewish community on campus by donating today!
Hillel at WCU is part of the umbrella organization of Hillel of Greater Philadelphia (HGP). Our goal is to raise the money both to maintain and to enhance our fabulous and growing program. Please help us to meet that goal by donating any amount today!
The cornerstone of our program is our biweekly Shabbat services and dinners. Our services are informal, egalitarian, and inspirational. They are planned and led by students with the help of the campus rabbinic intern. Each Shabbat has a theme such as Relaxation Shabbat, Shabbat Halloween, or Welcoming the Spring Shabbat. Students plan meals around those themes. Each Shabbat service is preceded by a half hour Jewish meditation opportunity.
Hillel is committed to education. We host a monthly program called Latte and Learn in which students meet with the Rabbinic intern and study various Jewish "hot topics" in an informal setting. This allows students to explore what Judaism means to them in a very personal way. Past topics have included Tattoos and Piercings, Interfaith Marriage and Dating, Jewish Views on Environmentalism, Heaven, Hell, and the Afterlife, and Kashrut (Keeping Kosher) 101. Additionally, Hillel hosts a monthly Shulchan Ivri/Hebrew able in which the rabbinic intern and students study Modern Hebrew in a fun, relaxed setting. We improve our Hebrew reading skills while learning conversational Hebrew.
Each year, we host a variety of large events. However, no event is as large or as well attended as our Freedom Seder. Each year, on the eighth night of Passover, we invite the entire campus community to join us for an event that is multi-faith and multi-cultural, but which is based on the themes of a traditional Passover Seder. In this event, the entire WCU community stands up together and says, "No one is free until everyone is free." Last year, this event was co-sponsored by 40 other campus organizations, religious groups, academic departments, and administrators. The event costs several thousand dollars to run and we hope to expand it this year.
This year we will partner with Ursinus College for our second joint Shabbaton or weekend retreat. This year, Arcadia University will be joining us. We will go to a local retreat center, unplug for Shabbat (a rarity in our American culture), share meals, and give students choices between a wide variety of activities from Jewish learning to nature walks to yoga. We are committed to sending students to our Shabbaton for free. It costs about $100 per student. Please help students attend the Shabbaton by donating any amount you can today!
Our Hillel is part of the Small but Mighty Initiative. We have seen a great deal of growth over the last five years. Please help us to keep growing bigger and stronger, offering students as many entry points into Judaism as possible, by donating today!