Alternative Break Trips

Do something good during your winter break

Keshet: Inclusivity of LGBT Jews

Learn about Hillel at Binghamton's welcoming atmosphere and policy of inclusivity

Hillel FAQs

Prospective Student FAQs

I’m visiting campus, and I would like to stay at a hotel nearby. Do you have any recommendations?

Hillel at Binghamton has no relationship local hotels, but they are all located very close to campus. Check them out here.

I've planned a visit to campus. Can I set up a time to meet the Hillel at Binghamton staff?

Sure, we would be happy to meet you! Our office is located in the University Union West, Room 208B. Feel free to email at hillel@binghamton.edu or call us directly 607-777-3424 to set up a meeting.

I'm thinking about applying to Binghamton and would like to visit campus.

Great idea! If you are considering coming to Binghamton it’s a good idea to visit campus and get a taste of what life is like here. In addition to getting an official campus tour, Hillel can arrange for you to meet with students who can tell you more about Jewish life on campus. Check out our Ambassadors page for more information.

General "About" Binghamton University & Hillel at Binghamton FAQs

How many Jewish Students are on-campus?

There are about 3,500 Jews on campus. This is approximately 30% of the Binghamton student population (and the highest percentage of Jews in any public university in the US!).

How do I join Hillel?

Hillel at Binghamton has no formal membership. Our Hillel isn’t an organization that students belong to – Hillel belongs to them. Anyone can attend Hillel’s programs, and any student who signs up for Hillel’s weekly newsletter, News for Jews, is eligible to serve on and vote for the Executive Board.

Where is Binghamton Hillel located on-campus?

Binghamton Hillel is located in University Union West, Room 208B. Click here to download a map.

Does Binghamton University have a Hillel Rabbi?

Hillel at Binghamton does not currently have a campus Rabbi. Hillel prides itself on student involvement and leadership in all areas, religious and secular. Our Director of Religious Education is Josh Jursyta, and he can be reached at jjurysta1@binghamton.edu with any questions about services, synagouges, Jewish law, accomodations, and traditions. 

Is Hillel a particular type of Judaism?

Hillel at Binghamton is a pluralistic Jewish organization and all types of Jews are active in the organization.

There are three student groups that represent the major movements in Judaism:

Reform Jews of Hillel (RJH) RJH works to connect all Reform Jews on campus. Reform services are student lead every Friday night in the Hillel lounge.
KOACH is Hillel's Conservative group on campus. KOACH has Shabbat services every Friday night and Saturday morning services two times per month.
Kedma is Hillels Orthodox group on campus.

What sort of events does Hillel at Binghamton host?

Check out the calendar of events to see past, present, and future activities. We always welcome new ideas and initiatives.

Is there a place for students to chill and study at Hillel?

Hillel's main office, located in University Union West 208-B, is a haven for students who are waiting in between classes and want to socialize with the Hillel staff and other Jewish students. Hillel also has a student lounge on the third floor of University Union West, room UUW-301, which has many amenities including computers for student use, snacks, Israeli music CDs, arts and crafts, and board games. Additionally, the Hillel Lounge also contains a Beit Midrash (house of study and prayer) with Jewish books and literature on various subjects. Students are encouraged to find books that pertain to their interests.

Is kosher food available on campus?

Yes! Each on-campus dining hall features a Kosher Korner serving freshly packaged sandwiches and salads that can be purchased on the regular university meal plan. In addition there is a Kosher Kitchen located in the C4 Dining Hall, which is a full-service section of the dining facility that serves glatt kosher food for each meal. Breakfast and lunch are dairy meals and Dinner is meat, and food at the Kosher Kitchen can also be purchased with a regular university meal plan. The Kosher Kitchen is open six days a week and is closed on Saturdays. For more information, visit the website of Sodexo, the university’s food provider.

Does Binghamton University offer Judaic Studies courses?

Yes! Binghamton offers a major and minor in Judaic Studies, as well as a minor in Hebrew. For more information, visit the department’s website.

Shabbat FAQs

Are there Shabbat services on campus?

Yes. Reform Jews of Hillel (RJH) hosts Reform services and KOACH hosts Conservative services on Shabbat. For service times and locations, visit the calendar.

Who leads services?

Like everything else at Hillel at Binghamton, services are led by students. There are lots of opportunities to get involved as well as participate. Learn more on the Religious & Spiritual Life page.

Does Hillel host Shabbat meals?

Yes. Hillel hosts a free weekly Shabbat meal each Friday night. Approximately 200 students attend this meal each week, so join us and bring your friends! For Shabbat dinner time and location, visit the calendar.

What should I expect at the weekly Shabbat dinners?

Our Shabbat dinner begins with a communal singing of Shalom Aleichem followed by traditional hand-washing and blessings over the wine and challah. Select students share insightful stories and words of wisdom prior to meal. There are usually salad and soup in the winter, in addition to baked roasted chicken, schnitzel, and a vegetarian option. Side dishes include seasonal vegetables, rice, knishot, and kugal. An Oneg follows the meal where students are encouraged to stay afterwards for desserts and benching, and singing. Desserts are yummy fudge brownies, fresh fruit, coffee, and hot tea.

What should I expect at the weekly Shabbat dinners?

Our Shabbat dinner begins with a communal singing of Shalom Aleichem followed by traditional hand-washing and blessings over the wine and challah. Select students share insightful stories and words of wisdom prior to meal. There are usually salad and soup in the winter, in addition to baked roasted chicken, schnitzel, and a vegetarian option. Side dishes include seasonal vegetables, rice, knishot, and kugal. An Oneg follows the meal where students are encouraged to stay afterwards for desserts and benching, and singing. Desserts are yummy fudge brownies, fresh fruit, coffee, and hot tea.

Is it okay to just come for dinner without going to a service on Friday night?

Yes! Many students attend dinner without attending a service before.

What do people wear to services or dinner?

You are welcome to dress as you like – some students arrive for services or dinner directly from class and are comfortable in jeans and a t-shirt while some students may choose to dress in formal clothing for Shabbat.

Getting Involved FAQs

How do I get involved?

Hillel at Binghamton is home to more than 15 sub-organizations such as Hillel intramural teams and Bearcats for Israel.

Check out our calendar and the semester program guide as well.

Bearcats for Israel
iNext
Challah for Hunger
Kaskeset
Red Sea Pedestrians
Social Programing Team
FYSH
LYSH
Shorashim
Tzedek
Greek Council
Community Building Council
3rd Generation Survivors Group
Shabbat Atmosphere Team
Reform Jews of Hillel
KOACH
Kedma

Students are welcomed to attend any of our programs and are encouraged to get seek future leadership opportunities. There are also annual programs such as Hillel’s Yom Ha’atzmaut Israel Celebration, Mitzvah Marathon on September 11th, Aroma Café, Chanukah Chinese Food Celebration, and many more. Hillel also hosts weekly Reform and Conservative Services along with free Shabbat Dinners.

How can first year students get involved in Hillel?

The first way to get involved with Hillel at Binghamton is to participate in FreshFest, a retreat for Jewish freshmen and transfer students. For details on this program, click here. Additionally, throughout the year, FYSH (First Year Students of Hillel) hosts programs specifically for freshmen to get orientated to Binghamton.

I am interested in going to Israel. Can Hillel help me get there?

Hillel at Binghamton and Hillel International host several trips to Israel. Specifically, Hillel at Binghamton sponsors Taglit-Birthright trips to Israel during both winter and summer breaks for Binghamton students. If you are a Jewish student between the ages of 18-26 and have not been on a peer Israel trip, you may be eligible for this free trip. There are also additional opportunities for travel or study in Israel beyond Birthright. Contact our Israel Fellow or our Masa Israel Interns for details.

Does Hillel at Binghamton offer Alternative Breaks?

Hillel at Binghamton offers Alternative Break opportunities during the Winter and Spring Break each year. We strive to organize exciting and unique alternative trips across the United States and Israel. In the past our trips have taken students to New Orleans to work as part of an ongoing commitment to Hurricane relief, West Virginia to work on Rural poverty relief, Miami to work with inner city children at Boys and Girls clubs and Israel with the JNF to work on creating new communities in the Negev or reforesting the North after the massive fires that burnt down much of the Carmel forest region. We will continue to expand these offerings to our students as the demand and resources become available in our ongoing commitment to social justice and tikkun olam.

Can I make a donation to Hillel at Binghamton?

Thank you for your support! Contributions to Hillel at Binghamton can be made here.

I’m not Jewish but I’m impressed with a lot of the things Hillel does on campus. Would I be welcome?

While some of Hillel at Binghamton’s programs are intended primarily for the Jewish community at Binghamton, most of what Hillel does serves the entire university community. Non-Jewish students get involved in Hillel for the same reasons that so many Jewish students do – they are fun, exciting, important and look good on your resume when you apply to graduate and professional schools. Jewish students bring their non-Jewish friends to our program or Friday night Shabbat dinner to be a part of what Hillel has to offer to the campus community. Several programs may be limited to Jewish students only based on the organizers parameters for involvement, such as Taglit-Birthright Israel. Our new program, the Student Outreach Team, spearheaded by vice president Katie Sheperd, is involved in making programs and increasing awareness with other student groups on campus. If you or your group would like to be involved, she can be reached at kshepar1@binghamton.edu.