For many students, Wellesley represents a first foray into the world of Jewish ritual. Our community is very diverse, and includes Jews from a variety of different backgrounds - from Reform, Conservative, and Reconstructionist congregations, as well as students who grew up "Jew-ish" and are exploring that element of their identity for the first time. Quite a few of our students are not from Ashkenazi backgrounds and may identify as people of color. Many are LGBTQ+.
In Jewish Life, we create a welcoming community where everyone can explore, question, and deepen their Jewish identity.
Stone-Davis dining hall serves strictly vegetarian food at all meals under the supervision of the campus rabbi. Meat is regularly available only at Shabbat dinner. More observant students should note that glatt kosher, pas yoshon, and cholov yisroel products are not readily available in our area.
For many students, Wellesley represents their first experience of kashrut, and the kosher kitchen in the Jewish Life Lounge reflects that reality; because it is open to all students, we are unable to guarantee that this kitchen is strictly kosher at all times. Kosher "oopses" happen to everyone, and the Jewish Life Lounge (Billings 200) is a welcoming place to both explore and make mistakes.
Each week, we celebrate Shabbat with a lively service on Friday evening, followed by a delicious (kosher, meat) Shabbat dinner in a warm and welcoming community.
Rosh Hashanah - erev Rosh Hashanah and morning services are held. Second day programming may include services or tashlich, a labyrinth walk, or group discussion.
Yom Kippur - Kol Nidrei, morning, and afternoon/neilah services are held, as is a break-fast.
Sukkot - the campus sukkah is erected and decorated each year on the Chapel Lawn. In addition to having a daily opportunity to eat, study, and shake a lulav and etrog, lunch and dinner programs are held in the sukkah throughout the week.
Simchat Torah - programming may include a guided tour through the full Torah scroll, Israeli dancing, and treats.
Chanukah - Each night, students gather to sing the blessings and light the huge outdoor campus chanukiyah; dreidel games, latkes, sufganiyot, and cocoa enhance our celebration.
Purim - hamentashen, tzedakah projects, and treats for friends are the hallmarks of this celebration, which (depending on campus schedule) may also include a megillah reading, schpiel, or festive (kosher) Persian meal.
Passover - We hold a seder for both first and second evening. Dining halls may have a small amount of Passover food available, and students may join the kosher-for-Passover co-op in the Jewish Life Lounge
Hillel is a student organization dedicated to learning, exploring, and celebrating Jewish life! In addition to gathering for Shabbat services and dinner each week, we engage in social justice work, celebrate holidays, host bagel brunches, film screenings, mixers, and more!
Shabbat Services: Friday, 5:30 pm in the MFC Gathering Space. Followed by Shabbat Dinner in the Hillel Lounge.