Q: How many Jewish students are there on campus?
A: Jews comprise a little under 10% of the student body at MIT, accounting for about 320 undergrads and 500 graduates.
Q: How do students get involved with Hillel? Are there membership fees?
A: Students can participate in MIT Hillel as much or as little as they would like to. Whether you come for one Shabbat meal, weekly Torah study, an interfaith dialogue, or just to hang out in the Hillel Center after class, you are more than welcome. If you have an idea or would like to find out how to get more involved, contact Marissa Feinman at email@example.com. There are no membership fees for participation or involvement in Hillel.
Q: Do I have to be Jewish to participate in Hillel?
A: No! All are welcome. If you are curious, a friend, or simply trying something new, we would love to meet you.
Q: Is there kosher dining on campus?
A: MIT's Howard Dining Room in Maseeh Hall offers kosher lunch and dinner to the MIT community every day except Saturday night. Friday evening and Saturday afternoon meals are served in the Religious Activities Center, where Hillel is housed, as part of Shabbat activities.
Q: What is Shabbat like at MIT?
A: MIT Hillel provides three services -- Reform, Conservative, and Orthodox -- on Friday evenings before students join together for one communal Shabbat dinner. Special themed Shabbats include Faculty Shabbat and Bring a Friend Shabbat. Occasionally there are even special guest speakers or comedians. Shabbat continues on Saturday morning with Orthodox services, followed by lunch and board games.
Q: Can I come to Shabbat if I’m not an MIT student?
A: MIT Hillel serves the MIT community, which includes students, staff, faculty, and their guests.
Q: What are holiday observances and celebrations like at MIT?
A: MIT Hillel provides a home away from home for holiday observances. Free services are provided for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. Chanukah includes candle lighting in individual dorms. There are large communal seders during Passover in addition to more intimate gatherings. Other holidays throughout the year are celebrated with food, rituals, educational, and social programming.
Q: What kind of programs does MIT Hillel offer?
A: All kinds! The student board plans weekly social and cultural gatherings. Hillel staff and student leadership partner to provide holiday services, one-time events like the test-tube menorah lighting, ongoing programs like medical ethics discussions, and interfaith dialogues with other religious groups on campus. We are committed to providing open, pluralistic programs that challenge and engage, whether once a year or every week.
Q: Is there a rabbi on campus?
A: Yes -- there are two! MIT Hillel is pleased to have on staff Rabbi Michelle Fisher, Executive Director, and Rabbi Gavriel Goldfeder, Senior Jewish Educator. Rabbi Goldfeder works with students of all backgrounds to provide education, insight, and support.
Q: Can prospective students visit MIT Hillel and stay overnight with a Jewish student?
A: MIT Hillel is happy to arrange for prospective students to meet Jews on campus. Write firstname.lastname@example.org and we will set up a lunch or overnight.
Q: Where is the Hillel building?
A: Hillel has dedicated space and offices in MIT’s Religious Activities Center. Students of all faith backgrounds share the building, allowing interfaith programing like the Addir Fellowship to thrive.
Q: How is MIT Hillel connected to the University community?
A: MIT Hillel is a not-for-profit organization that is an affiliate of Hillel International. We are connected to the campus through our work with student groups like Challah for Hunger and University programs like MISTI Israel, our programs that serve the entire community like the Hummus Experience, and our students that serve in a wide range of leadership positions. The University and MIT Hillel work together to provide a home for Jewish students that is welcoming and supportive.
Q: How can I support MIT Hillel?
A: MIT Hillel relies on your generosity to support its programing. Please click here to learn more about giving opportunities at MIT Hillel.