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 this Freshmen Retreat taking place September 10-11th in the Marin Headlands! Find all retreat information HERE. 

Schedule:

Open House and Tours
Stop by Hillel to get to know our building, staff, and community. Come see us on the following days any time from 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.!

Tuesday, August 16th
Wednesday, August 17th
Thursday, August 18th
Monday, August 22nd

Thursday, August 18th - Movie Night in the Courtyard, 7:00 - 9:00 p.m. 

Relax and kick back with a movie under the stars. Enjoy popcorn and new friends in the Hillel courtyard. 

Friday, August 19th – 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. Let us know if you’re coming at the bottom of this page, and join us 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
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. 

7:15 – Kiddush and Shabbat Dinner
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! 

Monday, August 22nd

Your Path to Cal: A Hike for Transfer Students, 4:00 – 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.

Welcome Home: Make-Your-Own-Mezuzah, 4-5:30 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 23rd: Bagel Brunch, Bag Packing, 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. And while you’re here, pack bags of school supplies for students in need with Repair the World and your new friends at Hillel.

Wednesday, August 24th

PreBQ 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 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 BBQ!

Welcome Back 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 Kosher BBQ! Come every week to eat tasty Kosher BBQ food (cooked by our talented Kitchen Interns), see your friends, and meet new people! What’s not to love?!

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
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. 

7:15 – Kiddush and Shabbat Dinner
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! 

Questions about Hillel Welcome Week? Let us know! Jess Nevins, our Director of Student Leadership, is happy to help: jnevins@berkeleyhillel.org.