Shabbat Cooks

Shabbat is a highlight at Hillel each week. Students from our five campuses, recent alumni, and young adults from the community gather at Hillel to celebrate their Jewish connection and enjoy a meal free of charge. We endeavor to keep all of Hillel’s programs free so as to alleviate any financial barriers to engaging with Jewish life and community.

We are grateful to the many community members who volunteer to cook Shabbat Dinners for the students almost every week.  The students always appreciate a home cooked Shabbat meal and we are always looking for Shabbat cooks.  Attendance at a typical Shabbat dinner is between 40-50 students.  Attendance can be much higher (50-80 students) for certain holiday celebrations, theme Shabbat dinners, and at the beginning or end of a semester.

Our Shabbat cooks provide:

  • 3-4 challahs

  • Main course

  • Salad or soup

  • Side dishes

  • Dessert

If the meal includes meat, no dairy (cheese, butter, ice cream, etc.) can be used in any of the dishes (Please check ingredient lists on packaged foods).

If the meal being served is dairy, no meat products can be served in any of the dishes to be served. Please consider including a vegetarian option if meat is being served (e.g. a rice dish using vegetable stock.)

 In the South Bay, Kosher Meat can be purchased in the frozen foods sections at Mollie Stones, Pars Kosher Market and Deli, Lucky-Saratoga and Trader Joes.

Please do not add nuts to dishes so that those allergic to tree nuts can partake.  Nuts can be provided on the side to add to salads, etc. for those who would like to enjoy them.

Hillel Provides:

  • Room Set-up

  • Water

  • All of the paper and goods and plastic utensils

  • Kiddush Wine (and sometimes dinner wine)

Shabbat Dinner Sponsorship:

Another way that you can provide the gift of a Shabbat meal is to sponsor a meal.  A sponsorship in any amount is always appreciated.  A typical Shabbat meal can cost between $300-$500.  On special occasions (Rosh Hashanah, Chanukah, Passover, Graduation Shabbat) we like to treat the students to a catered meal which can cost between $1,000 and $1,500.

Shabbat cooks and sponsors are encouraged to join the students for Shabbat and are recognized in our annual report and in the L’Dor V’Dor tribute book.  

For more information or to sign up to cook or sponsor a Shabbat Dinner, please contact Mitch Reitman, Assistant Director, [email protected]; 408-775-7532.