Social Justice

Interested in all things social justice, action, and organizing at Berkeley Hillel?  Read descriptions about all of our social justice offerings here! Interested in joining the next cohort of Hillel’s Social Justice Fellowship? Reach out to Micah Lesch, Director of Jewish Student Life, for more information.


Student Groups
  • Jews of Color Collective: A place for Jews of Color, multiracial, and mixed-race Jews to gather, process, and prioritize themselves. We do not meet weekly, but we hold occasional events, Shabbat dinners, and conversations.
  • Challah 4 Hunger: Enjoy braiding challah? Are you concerned about food insecurity on campus? Join Challah 4 Hunger every Thursday at 6:30 p.m. with 50-60 fellow students who come together to braid and bake Challah in a variety of flavors (chocolate chip, rosemary, and garlic, apple pie). The Challah is then sold ($3 for Challah, $1 for a delicious pretzel bite) to benefit causes around issues of hunger and food security.
  • Dayenu: A Jewish Call to Climate Action: Join a cohort of students passionate about combating the climate crisis! Sign up for weekly Dayenu meetings and actions by sending an email to Micah at mlesch@berkeleyhillel.org who will connect you to the Dayenu Slack Channel.
Fellowships
  • Social Justice Fellowship: Are you interested in learning about a wide variety of social justice issues in a Jewish context? We offer a Social Justice Fellowship every Fall semester wherein various social justice leaders – both Jewish and non-Jewish – speak to our students each week about their specific issue area. Additionally, students are placed at different nonprofit and advocacy organizations for volunteering.
  • JLF Tackling Climate Change Fellowship: This class will meet weekly to learn deeply, through books, articles, and various texts, about Jewish and non-Jewish perspectives on tackling the climate crisis. Tackling Climate Change is split into three key thematic areas — Food, Water, and People & Planet. In each area, we will dive deep into learning together about the most pressing intersectional social justice issues that have arisen due to the climate crisis, explore the global affects of climate change, and discuss how our tradition motivates us to make positive and impactful change.

Ongoing Initiatives
  • Bag Packing: Join Hallie McRae, one of our Vice Presidents of Social Action on the Berkeley Hillel Student Board for the first ever Community Bag Packing on Sunday, February 13th from 10am to 12pm at Hillel. Every Sunday, we will gather in the Hillel Courtyard to pack 50-100 bags with food and basic hygiene products to be distributed to unhoused and in-need populations in Berkeley and Oakland. Take a break from studying this and every week to do some good for your community!
  • Letter Writing to Incacerated Folks: Join us every two weeks to write letters of support to people who are incarcerated in San Quentin Prison. Email Micah at mlesch@berkeleyhillel.org for details.

 

Questions about social justice programming at Berkeley Hillel? Send an email to VPs of Social Action Gaby Cohen or Hallie McRae (gabriellecohen@berkeley.edu; halliemcrae@berkeley.edu)