What happens on holidays?

Hillel SV provides weekly Shabbat dinners and special programs to celebrate the Jewish holidays.

Shabbat Dinners?

Weekly Shabbat dinners are held at the Hillel house. Kosher meals are cooked by community members or by the Hillel students. Several of the Shabbat dinners have a special theme (Jewish holiday related, guest speaker, Israel, etc).

Shabbat is a highlight at Hillel each week, and is among the most successful programs at Hillel of Silicon Valley.  Students from all five of our campuses, recent alumni, and young adults from the community gather at Hillel for a Jewish connection and a free meal. Shabbat dinners are an opportunity to see old friends and meet new friends—it’s a great experience for students.

In the words of the students:

“The food and the company are the best! I usually only miss it if I am going somewhere else for Shabbat.”

“I think Shabbat dinners (at Hillel) are great! I don’t see a need to change anything.”

“I like the people. It is really a homey environment.”

“I like Hillel Shabbat dinners because you can hang with other Jews and have your weekend begin with friends.”

If you are interested in cooking for a Shabbat Dinner, or you would like to sponsor or co-sponsor a Shabbat dinner please call 408-286-6669


Holiday Programming:

Holidays provide a wonderful tableau for connecting students with their Judaism.  They are filled with great recipes, ritual items, symbolism, and meaning.  Many of our students do not really understand the various holidays and have not celebrated them in their homes.  This segment of our programming elevates their Jewish literacy through informal Jewish education and increases student’s Jewish identification and involvement in Jewish communal life.

Programming focuses on three main areas:  promoting Jewish arts and culture, advancing Jewish knowledge, ideas, and values, and strengthening global Jewish community.

For each holiday we organize at least one on campus event, and one event at the Hillel House. We hold the events at a central location at the campus, this way everyone is exposed to Jewish culture.  They are planned and organized by Hillel’s staff and student interns.  Outside expertise are brought in to add depth and diversity.

Special Jewish holiday programming take place for Rosh Hashanah/Yom Kippur, Sukkot, Chanukah, Purim, Passover, Yom HaShoah, Yom Ha’Atzmaut, and Rosh CHodesh.

Some of the programs that will take place during the Jewish holidays include:

Sukkot:  Hillel of Silicon Valley puts together a week long program for the Holiday of Sukkot. Some of the offerings include; Sukkah building, Community wide Sukkot reception, movie under the stars, torah study in the Sukkah focusing on Sukkot and its traditions, Sukkot Shabbat dinner, etc.

Hanukah:  Hanukah is a fun and popular Holiday; this year it falls during the winter break. We will have a pre Hanukah event at the campuses since a lot of students (Jewish and not Jewish) are familiar with the rituals of celebrating Hanukah. We will be hosting a candle factory and dreidel making activity.  We will also have “latke tasting.”

Tu B’Shvat Seder: The Tu B’Shvat Seder has been one of the most successful programs. At the seder, we celebrate the tradition and rituals of the holiday, and we will add an educational component about the environment.

Passover: Every year, we clean the kitchen in preparation for Pesach (Passover). Our students will often prepare food such as tasty matzo-lasagnas that they can enjoy during the week. We hold a beautiful Seder dinner annually at the Hillel house. We also sponsor Seders at some of our campuses.