Help us "Do Jewish" 

What it means to for UConn Hillel to "do Jewish"? I have had wonderful Jewish experiences in my 49 years. I met my first real girlfriend in NFTY (Northeast Federation of Temple Youths). I was in a Jewish Fraternity (AEPi). I worked at a fantastic Jewish summer camp (Camp Barney Medinitz- the Atlanta JCC Overnight Camp). I studies in Jerusalem (with Aish HaTorah). I worked at a HilleI (University of Harford, prior to UConn) and worked for a Jewish Federation. I served on Jewish Organizations' Boards (Jewish Family Services, Solomon Schechter Day School). I have passed on Jewish experiences to my children; kosher home, Solomon Schechter Day School, trips to Israel, Camp Ramah, Bat Mitzvahs in Israel and USY/BBYO.

I have learned through this life that we need to make "Do Jewish" a natural, easy, and organic journey. It means that our UConn Hillel student's complex and dynamic lives need to be barrier free for them to experience and "Do Jewish". It means that to "Do Jewish" can't be forced or guilt ridden. It means to "Do Jewish" must have meaning and be personalized. It means that to "Do Jewish" must come from our whole community. It means that to "Do Jewish" can be a daily, weekly, monthly or yearly interaction. It means that to "Do Jewish" must meet the students own interests and schedules. It means that to "Do Jewish" can be formal or informal. To "Do Jewish" can be done with a group or individually. 

I encourage all of you to come to UConn Hillel and see firsthand what this looks like to "Do Jewish", but more importantly I ask that you support our mission to "Do Jewish". We need mentors for UConn Hillel students. I am looking for alumni, parents, and friends who could provide professional mentorship in the following areas: Finance, Marketing, Education, Healthcare, Manufacturing, Engineering, Research, and Politics, to name a few. I would like to pair a student with a mentor in a professional field, someone to be a sounding board, be a directional beacon as our students start their "real" life journey. This Mentorship will be accompanied by a program titled "the Bible of Business". On campus we will view interviews with over 30 different Entrepreneurs who will discuss Jewish text and how these have helped them success in their perspective professions. I encourage you to join us in this program and hope all of you enjoy our journey to "Do Jewish".

If interested please email Scott at
Rejoicing on Simchat Torah

Hello, my name is Miriam Katz. I am a sophomore from West Hartford double-majoring in physiology & neurology and diagnostic genetics, with the goal of attending medical schools. I wanted to share a few thoughts on Simchat Torah with you. As many of you know, this past Monday we celebrated Simchat Torah. We read the last parsha, or section, of the Torah. Moses has been leading the Jews through the desert for decades and, as they finally reach the promised land of Israel, Moses gives them a final address.  This is the end of an era for the Jewish people. They have had the same pattern, guidance, and lifestyle since they left Egypt. Of course the Jews are excited to enter the Promised Land, flowing with milk and honey, but they are also warry of what lies ahead. Moses, their trusted leader, will not be with them anymore. What are they to do?

One of my favorite aspects of Simchat Torah is the celebratory nature of the holiday. Simchat Torah includes all of the necessary ingredients for a great time: singing, dancing, and a little bit of grape juice. This tradition teaches us to celebrate change; to face it head-on, with all we've got, and embrace every new opportunity that comes along with it.  This is exactly what us Jews do during Simchat Torah: they traditionally turn to each other and say "Chazak Chazak Venit Chazek", "Be strong, be strong, and let us strengthen each other!". I challenge all of you to be strong, embrace the change in your lives, and know that the Hillel community will always be here to strengthen you.
A Snapshot Into Our Semester
The Hummus Experience  
On  September  28th, the 5th Annual Hummus Experience once again brought in students, new and old, to the community. We had more than 80 students competing to make an original hummus flavor, and another 150 people watching, tasting, playing games and supporting their friends. 
Judges included Executive Director Scott Selig, Israel Fellow Noa Rifkin, Alumni Abbie Beckoff and Hartford Israel Fellow After a half hour of cooking and a half hour of tasting, the winning team was selected:, consisting of seniors Jacob Burte, Dani Haims, Caroline Wildstein and Alex Reed! Congratulations to all participants and thank you to everyone who came out to support. 

Shakshukah in the Sukkah

75 students from across campus came together to make the Israeli dish Shakshukah and enjoy it in Hillel's Sukkah. Hillel was happy to partner with students from the Tea Club and Muslim Students Association for this event. 

Homecoming Tailgate

On a rainy, cold morning UConn Hillel hosted it's 5th homecoming tailgate. Alumni, parents, supporters, grad students and undergrads all gathered together to enjoy Kosher deli and husky spirit. Look for photos of our tailgate in the Hartford Courant Online!

Huskies for Israel Programming

Students from across campus gathered in Hillel to make Israeli Chocolate Balls, a popular Israeli treat made with graham crackers, chocolate and sugar. Yum!

Huskies for Israel (HFI) is the only pro-Israel group on campus. The goal of HFI is to showcase Israeli culture and help foster a pro-Israel environment on campus.

Grad(Jew)ate Students Happy Hour

Graduate students from across UConn's different graduate programs including, the Medical School, Law School, School of Social Work and Storrs campus, gathered at World of Beer in West Hartford on October 25th. This Happy Hour was the first program put on by The Grad(Jew)ate Student Organization. The goal of The Grad(Jew)ates is to foster community, provide professional development and Jewish education opportunities for UConn's Jewish grad student population. 
Alumni Spotlight
Melissa Lovitz 
Melissa Lovitz is a research study coordinator at the Brazelton Touchpoints Center at Boston Children's Hospital. She works on projects related to family engagement in early childhood education, and evaluating community level, federally funded grants aimed at promoting and enhancing healthy family and child development. Melissa holds a Master's degree from Brown University in Urban Education Policy, and a Bachelor's degree in Human Development & Family Studies from the University of Connecticut. 
While at UConn, she was an active participant in Hillel programs as well as the UConn Marching Band, Alpha Phi Omega National Coeducational Service Fraternity, and the Honors Program. A common theme across her involvement was the strong sense of community, and commitment to shared values and goals. Within Hillel specifically, this sense of community was most prominent at Shabbat. Many students will describe Hillel as their "home away from home", and that's what it was for her. 

Melissa described her Hillel experience by stating, "I could always rely on Hillel to be a space where I could find friendship, a challenging conversation, connection Judaism, and contagious ruach - especially on Friday nights! UConn taught me the value of appreciating your niche and investing in your community. That value still resonates strongly with me through my involvement in the Greater Boston 20's and 30's Jewish community or in my professional endeavors and networks." 
Upcoming Events
Tuesday, November 1 @6pm

Tuesday, November 1 @9pm

Wednesday, November 9 @7pm
Konover Auditorium at the Dodd Center, Storrs CT

Contact Us

Check out our  new website !

Contact Us
Phone: 860.429.9007
Fax: 860.429.2344