Frequently asked questions
I’m visiting campus, and I would like to stay at a hotel nearby. Do you have any recommendations?
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. The Hillel staff would also be happy to meet with you during your visit. Feel free to e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 607-777-3424.
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 any leadership position.
Where is Binghamton Hillel located on campus?
Binghamton Hillel is located in University Union West, Room 208B.
Does Binghamton University have an OU-JLIC Rabbi?
We are thrilled to introduce to you Rabbi Ben and Ellie Menora as the OU-JLIC couple. They can be reached at Ben@hillelatbinghamton.org or Ellie@hillelatbinghamton.org or follow the facebook page for current updates from Rabbi Ben, Ellie, and the JLIC student team.
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), KOACH (Conservative), and OU-JLIC (Orthodox).
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 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 contains a Beit Midrash (house of study and prayer) with Jewish books and literature on various subjects.
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.
Are there Shabbat services on campus?
Yes. Reform Jews of Hillel, KOACH, and OU-JLIC each have student led services every Friday night. For service times and locations, vist the calendar or check out our Shabbat page for detailed information.
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! Our Shabbat dinner begins with a communal singing of Shalom Aleichem followed by traditional hand-washing and blessings over the wine and challah. Students share insightful stories and words of wisdom prior to the meal. Soup and salad are served in addition to the main course, which includes chicken, vegetables, rice, and a vegetarian option. Dessert and singing follow the meal at the weekly oneg. For Shabbat dinner time and location, visit the calendar.
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.
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, visit the FreshFest page on our website. Additionally, throughout the year, FYSH (First Year Students of Hillel) hosts programs specifically for freshmen to get orientated to Binghamton. For any questions regarding first year experienes, please email email@example.com
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.
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.
Does Binghamton University have an eruv?
Yes! The Shalom Staiman Binghamton University Eruv encloses the university campus as well as off campus housing communities.
Are there classes about Israel offered by the university?
Yes! The new minor in Israel Studies allows students to study the history, politics, literature, and culture of Modern Israel.