Hillel Welcome Week: Jewish Life at Cal

Welcome to Jewish Life at Cal!

We’re so excited you’re here and we can’t wait to welcome you. The best way to get to know the Jewish community at Cal is to attend our Hillel Welcome Week events. Look out for our student leaders, who are excited to meet you and who will be around all of Hillel Welcome Week to chat, answer your questions, and even walk in groups from student housing  to Hillel. Who needs Uber when you can JEWber? 

Also, don’t forget to register for the Fall 2023 Freshmen Retreat taking place September 3rd- 4th in Santa Rosa at Camp Newman! Find all retreat information HERE

Questions about Hillel Welcome Week? Let us know! Hannah Snyder, our Program Associate, is happy to help, reach out at hsnyder@berkeleyhillel.org. 

Schedule:

Open House and Tours
Stop by Hillel to get to know our building, staff, and community. Come see us on Tuesday August 15th and Wednesday August 16th  any time from 10a.m. – 4 p.m!

Friday, August 18th

GBO Fair, 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Come find us tableing at GBO and meet staff and student leaders, ask any questions you have, and grab some swag!

Welcome Shabbat for New Students, 6:00 p.m.
After a week of getting your bearings, settle into Shabbat with us. Take time to unplug from the week and plug into mindfulness. Find out how to RSVP HERE!

6:00 – Community Candle Lighting
Every week, join Hillel staff in the lobby as we transition into Shabbat with candle lighting and intention-setting. Candles will also be available all evening for you to light on your time.

6:15 – Kabbalat Shabbat, Kiddush, and Shabbat Dinner 
Come together in song, meditation, and prayer to welcome Shabbat with your Berkeley Hillel community. Berkeley Hillel Minyan is a joyful prayer space that incorporates songs and traditions from various Jewish practices. And after services, there’s always a place at our Shabbat table! Join us in the auditorium for Kiddush and motzi (blessing over the bread), followed by a home-cooked Shabbat dinner. Come for the yummy food, stay for the company and holy Shabbat vibes! 

Sunday, August 20th- Your Path to Cal: A Hike for Transfer Students, 4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Build community with other transfer students and get your FAQs answered by upperclassmen. Meet in the lobby of Hillel at 4:00 for a moderate hike up the fire trails, a must-do for any Cal student in search of amazing views of your new home in the Bay.

Monday, August 21st

GBO Affinity Spaces, 4:00 – 5:30 p.m.
Come chat with Hillel students and staff at the GBO Affinity Space (in the Tan Oak Room on the 4th floor in the MLK Student Union) and learn about the Jewish experience at Berkeley Hillel. Hear about ways to get involved and learn what Berkeley Hillel has to offer. There will be a panel of student leaders to ask all your questions and a chance to mingle and meet other new students. And then, make sure to join us at Hillel  for a make-your-own-mezuzah after party!

Welcome Home: Make-Your-Own-Mezuzah, 5:45 – 6:45 p.m.
Make your new dorm feel like home, the Jewish way! Join Rav Maya for Mezuzah making at Hillel. As we get crafty, we’ll learn a bit about this mystical Jewish tradition, and talk about transitioning from home to college.

Tuesday, August 22nd

Bagel Brunch and Student Group Bonanza, 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. 
Your opportunity to feast on all we have to offer! Enjoy bagels while you get to know our Hillel student groups. Ever wanted to play in a Klezmer band? Looking to get involved in Jewish climate action? Or maybe braiding Challah is your thing. Find all of this and more at our showcase of ways to get involved in our vibrant community. 

Movie Night in the Dov Den, 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.
Relax and kick back with a movie at Hillel. Enjoy popcorn and new friends in the Hillel Dov Den. 

Wednesday, August 23rd

Mocktail Happy Hour for New Students, 5:00 – 6:00 p.m.
New students, join us for an exclusive happy hour before we open the doors for our weekly Jewish Community BBQ. Not only will you be able to schmooze with your fellow classmates and new students, but you’ll also get to be first in line for dinner!

Kickoff Jewish Community BBQ, 6:00 – 7:00 p.m. 
After a long first day of classes, you deserve a delicious home-cooked meal! Join us every Wednesday for our famous weekly Jewish Community BBQ! Come every week to eat tasty Kosher BBQ food (cooked by our talented Kitchen Interns), see your friends, and meet new people! 

Friday, August 25th: ShaBack to School, 6:00 p.m.
Celebrate the end of your first week by joining the whole community for Shabbat at Hillel. Bless, sing, eat, and rest; what else is Shabbat for?

6:00 – Community Candle Lighting
Every week, join Hillel staff in the lobby as we transition into Shabbat with candle lighting and intention-setting. Candles will also be available all evening for you to light on your time.

6:15 – Kabbalat Shabbat, Kiddush, and Shabbat Dinner 
Come together in song, meditation, and prayer to welcome Shabbat with your Berkeley Hillel community. Berkeley Hillel Minyan is a joyful prayer space that incorporates songs and traditions from various Jewish practices. And after services, there’s always a place at our Shabbat table! Join us in the auditorium for Kiddush and motzi (blessing over the bread), followed by a home-cooked Shabbat dinner. Come for the yummy food, stay for the company and holy Shabbat vibes! 

Saturday, August 26th: Welcome Back Havdalah, 8:00 – 9:00 p.m.
Join in community for a relaxing and chill end to the first week of classes. We’ll hang in the Hillel courtyard with some Shabbat friendly activities and then celebrate Havdalah under the stars.