Shabbat, Holidays & Religious Life

Explore the several religious groups and services provided at our Hillel.

Orthodox Life

The Jewish Learning Initiative on Campus (OU-JLIC) is a partnership between Hillel and the Orthodox Union (OU), a program that helps Orthodox students navigate the college environment and balance their Jewish commitments with their desire to engage the secular world. In addition, OU-JLIC provides avenues for spiritual development and exploration for Jewish students from varied backgrounds; JLIC presents a positive, sophisticated and welcoming face for Orthodox Judaism on campus.

OU-JLIC places Orthodox Rabbinic couples to serve as Torah educators at Hillel. At Rutgers, we are blessed to have Rabbi Avi Schwartz and his wife Sara as our campus JLIC educators. Along with our student led programming (Mesorah), they offer weekly Shiurim and classes, bring guest speakers and events to campus, and help make key Orthodox necessities, such as kashrut, eruv, chagim, and Shabbat, easier to observe and more meaningful.

Orthodox Community Co-Chairs

Elisheva Hermann and Mitch Wolf |

OU-JLIC Educators

Rav Avi Schwartz |
Sara Schwartz|

Minyan Times

Shacharit: 8:30 am
Mincha: 10 minutes before sunset, followed by Maariv.

Conservative Life

Koach is the Conservative community at Rutgers Hillel. With a name meaning “strength,” Koach provides a foundation for any Jewish student looking to stay connected to their Jewish roots on campus. The community provides student-led Shabbat services every Friday evening, and once or twice a month on Shabbat morning. On Saturdays when we don’t have services on campus, students walk to Highland Park for services there, followed by lunch at the home of Rabbi Esther Reed.
Whether you find your connection religiously or socially, Koach caters to you!
Don’t hesitate to contact the Koach/Conservative community leaders for more information or if you have questions about Jewish life at RU!

Koach/Conservative Community Co-Chairs
Abi Cohen and Sam Gelberg

Check us out on Facebook at the group “Rutgers KOACH”

Reform Life

We are a group of Reform and liberal Jews at Rutgers!

We are a vibrant, diverse, and accepting community of Jews from many different backgrounds. We love good Jewish food, Torah, singing, and planning fun events!

If you have an event you’d like to see happen (and help plan!), please contact us.

FRIDAY NIGHT SERVICES are the highlight of our week. They are student-led and very musical. Once or twice a month we do something special on Shabbat, such as a Brunch-and-Learn, Havdalah, or we visit local Reform congregations. Throughout the month we have social and learning opportunities, including Bagels and Torah every Friday. Locations and all other important information will be posted in our Facebook group!

Reform Community Chair
Maia Zaborowski |

Reform Community Educator

Nancy Bossov |

Follow us on Instagram and Twitter: @ru_reform!! Use #rureformlife when you post so we can gather your awesome pics of our events too!


Rutgers Hillel has made it a priority to ensure that the Kashrut at Rutgers Hillel events meets the standards of the Orthodox Union. In this way, students from various Jewish backgrounds can all feel comfortable eating at Hillel.

In order to maintain that level of Kashrut, Rutgers Hillel has entrusted Rav Avi Schwartz, our OU-JLIC Rabbi, to oversee these standards. 

If you are planning a Hillel program please click below to access the kashrut form:


Shabbat is the focal point of Jewish life on campus where students join together to gain a welcoming sense of Jewish community. Hundreds of students come together every Friday evening for a delicious kosher Shabbat meal — free for all students — in our beautiful Tanzman Dining Room.

For more information or to sign up for a Shabbat meal, click here.

Jewish Holidays

Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur
Many students cannot be with their families for the High Holidays. Rutgers Hillel fills
the void with services, festive meals, holiday services, and a warm caring presence. See information about High Holiday service at Hillel below. (link to the bottom of the page)

For eight days in the Fall, in our beautifully decorated sukkah on the Ross Pavilion, hundreds of students eat together, shake the lulav and etrog and celebrate the Season of Our Joy.

Hillel provides every Jewish student with kosher for Passover meals, warmth of friends and a welcome sense of belonging – Free of charge.

Hillel students enjoy eight crazy nights of Chanukah including a campus menorah lighting celebration and lots of yummy traditional food!

A joyous celebration including multiple megillah readings, a boisterous Purim Carnival and a day-long festive meal for students coming from and going to class.

Simhat Torah
A festive Rutgers tradition, students sing and dance with the Torah and enjoy holiday services and festive meals.

Tu B’Sh’vat
Hillel celebrates the New Year for the Trees with an innovative seder.

Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day)
Rutgers Hillel provides a community educational event to honor and commemorate the Six Million Jews who perished in the Holocaust.

Yom HaZikaron (Israel Memorial Day)
Hillel conducts a memorial program to honor the memories of those who died creating and defending the Jewish State and those who were killed in acts of terrorism.

Yom Ha’Atzmaut (Israel Independence Day)
One of the largest Hillel celebrations on campus, includes Israeli food, educational programs and music. Festivities are organized by the Rutgers Hillel Center for Israel Engagement.

High Holiday Services





Rutgers Hillel runs an inclusive, egalitarian service. Rabbi Esther Reed, Senior Associate Director of Rutgers Hillel, will be leading services along with assistance from Rabbi Mordecai Schwartz and a Rutgers student. Students who prefer to attend a local congregation can email Rav Avi Schwartz for home hospitality arrangements.

Entrance to Hillel services is free for students with ID, $125 for all others.  For Rutgers faculty and staff, the ticket price is a suggested donation. Students should show ID at the door. All others must purchase tickets in advance you can do so at this page: