Immersive Experiences

New Student Fall Retreat

The Fall Retreat is a weekend of learning, bonding, playing, planning, and having fun. We travel an hour north to the Marin Headlands, where we get back to our roots with campfires, bug juice, and bunk-beds. It’s Hillel’s way of kicking off the year with a bang by introducing students to eachother and setting the scene for an incredible first year at Berkeley.

For more information, visit the Freshmen Retreat page.

Travel to Israel

In addition to our Birthright trips, there are many more ways to get to Israel. Check out our Israel Trips page for more info or get in touch with our Israel Fellow for more information.


Birthright Israel is a FREE 10-day trip to Israel with Berkeley Hillel. We send 60 students from Cal every winter break. This trip is truly a life-changing experience, and it doesn’t stop there. Our goal is to extend Birthright beyond just the 10 days you spend abroad, by continuing to cultivate the friendships we made on the trip once back on campus. For more info, email Matt.

 Marla Bennet Fellowship

The Marla Bennett Fellowship is given to one Berkeley student each year to spend the summer learning at the Pardes Institute. Fellows will advance their own Jewish learning and develop their relationship with Israel.

More information about the Marla Bennet Fellowship here.

Additional Opportunities

Check out some of the trips below that students have found meaningful in the past!

Hava Nashira Songleader Camp

For those who want to learn about songleading, teaching, creating, performing, or otherwise using music as a tool for ensuring Judaism’s future.

AIPAC Conference

The American Israeli Public Affairs Committee – “AIPAC believes the key to securing the U.S.-Israel alliance in the future is to educate student leaders today. AIPAC’s Leadership Development Department empowers students to be confident advocates for Israel-both on campus and beyond.”

Hazon and the annual Food Conference

The Hazon Food Conference is a unique gathering that will bring together 200 professionals, lay leaders, and foodies to connect, collaborate, and continue to build the New Jewish Food Movement.

Hazon’s California Bike Ride

Hazon is working to create a healthier and more sustainable Jewish community and a healthier and more sustainable world for all. [Bike ride] participants have raised over $1.5 million. Over $500,000 has been distributed to small grassroots environmental organizations and projects around the world.

The General Assembly

The General Assembly (GA) is the premier annual North American Jewish conference, attracting key Federation lay leaders, donors, and professionals as well as the leadership of JFNA’s partner organizations and other important national Jewish organizations. Berkeley Hillel will be sending a small delegation of current and prospective student leaders to the GA. The dates are November 6-8. In order to participate, it will mean missing some class so please confirm that you are able to miss those days in class. The cost of the experience is $50 which includes the flight, hotel and food for the three days. Click here to apply!

JStreetU Conference

“As supporters of Israel, we are firmly committed to protecting the future of the State of Israel as a Jewish democratic homeland. We believe the fates of a secure Israel and a viable Palestinian state are intertwined. The peace and security of both peoples are achievable only through a negotiated, two-state solution.”

If you would like to apply for a Berkeley Hillel Scholarship for this kind of experience, please complete the SCHOLARSHIP APPLICATION  at least one month before the registration deadline.


In addition to the trips that Berkeley Hillel organizes (listed below), scholarships are available for students who want to participate in immersive experiences of their choosing. If you would like to apply for a Berkeley Hillel Scholarship for this kind of experience, please complete the SCHOLARSHIP APPLICATION at least one month before the registration deadline.

Click HERE for the scholarship application