What is Hillel’s Mission?
Hillel seeks to enrich the lives of Jewish undergraduate and graduate students so that they may enrich the Jewish people and the world.
Hillel is committed to
• Creating a pluralistic, welcoming, and inclusive environment;
• Fostering student growth and the balance in being distinctively Jewish and universally human;
• Advancing social justice, Jewish learning, and spirituality;
• Embracing Israel and global Jewish peoplehood;
• Delivering excellence, innovation, accountability, and results.
How is Hillel Funded?
Hillel is not a membership based organization. More than 80% of our annual budget comes from parents, grandparents, friends and alumni.
We’re also very grateful for the support of Jewish Federations throughout Michigan, especially the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit for their ongoing investment in Jewish life on campus.
How many Jewish students are at MSU?
We estimate that there are over 3,500 Jewish students, a number that has been significantly increasing over the past decade. In fact, more Michigan Jewish students are attending MSU than any other school nationwide.
How active is Jewish life at MSU?
VERY!!! Our programming is student led and driven. Hillel’s Jewish Student Union with 35 student leaders, an umbrella organization for programming helps to guide programming at Hillel. Programming includes social, cultural, educational and religious activities. We sponsor a number of student groups and committees including: Team Israel Program Committee, Athletics, Jews in Greek Life, Jewish Business Association, Freshman Programming, GAP: Graduate and Professional Group, Tzedek/Social Action Group and more.
What happens on holidays?
Hillel sponsors religious services (both reform and conservative) each Shabbat and special meals and programs for Jewish holidays, especially the High Holy Days. During Passover, Hillel provides Seders and kosher-for-Passover lunches and dinners.
What about Shabbat?
Shabbat dinners are often the highlight of the week. Free dinners follow student led services – and include homemade matzo ball soup and challah. Shabbat dinners are an opportunity to see old friends and meet new friends—it’s a great experience for students. Thanks to the generosity of members of the community, Shabbat dinners are offered free of charge to students. If you are interested in sponsoring or co-sponsoring a Shabbat dinner (or Sunday brunch), please call 517-332-1916.
Is there a lot of anti-Semitism on campus?
No. We don't know of many incidents in the past decade. Any incidents that have surfaced have been dealt with swiftly and effectively by the university. The university does a great job offering diversity education and is constantly working to educate not only the students, but the faculty, professors and administration so that everyone will be sensitive to the diverse cultures on campus. Hillel is providing an exceptional source of education for the campus community with regards to Judaism and its customs.
Where is MSU Hillel located?
The Lester and Jewell Morris Hillel Jewish Student Center is MSU Hillel’s home. This large modern center serves as the Jewish community center for MSU students. Located in downtown East Lansing, just north of the campus, MSU Hillel is a hub of student activity. MSU Hillel programming happens wherever and whenever students are interested—we’re not “just in the building”—instead we’re on campus, in the community and involved.
2012 marks the 10th anniversary of the Lester and Jewell Morris Hillel Jewish Student Center. Please look for opportunities to join with students as we celebrate this milestone.
Is Hillel a University Office?
No. While Hillel enjoys a very close working relationship with MSU offices, colleges and departments we are not a university office. In fact, we were recently recognized with the “Indispensable Campus Partner Award” from International Hillel for our various initiatives with MSU.
What is Hillel’s Hours?
With our extended building hours, students frequently use our library and other spaces to study, visit, watch big screen tv or hang out.
• Sunday, 1:00 - 11:00 p.m.
• Monday - Wednesday 10:00 a.m. - 11:00 p.m.
• Thursday 10:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.
• Friday 10:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m. (through Shabbat dinner)
Who's who at Hillel?
Cindy Hughey, Executive Director
Jonathon Koenigsberg, Associate Director & Director of Development
Dana Loewenstein, Director of Leadership Giving
Robin Berkowitz, Director of Engagement & Campus Initiatives
Dirk Roberts, Program Associate
Sam Appel, Program Associate
Felix Shoihat, Israel Fellow
Rabbi Daniel Horwitz, Rabbinic Advisor
Shelly Beyer, Office Manager
Becky Kinney, Operations Manager
Elliot Spoon, President, Board of Directors
Alex Waldman, President, Hillel’s Jewish Student Union