The High Holidays: The U of R Hillel Experience
The U of R Hillel High Holiday experience combines traditions from home with unique components of campus life.
- Rabbinic students from the Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS - conservative) and Hebrew Union College (HUC - Reform) lead services working closely with students who actively participate in all aspects of the services.
Hashanah is the Jewish New Year, the beginning of a time of reflection
and repentance for the Jewish people. Rosh Hashanah is a time when Jews
reflect on their actions and try to make amends with each other and G-d.
In synagogue, the shofar is sounded. We eat apples and honey to
symbolize a new year pure, happy, and free from past transgressions.
- At the U of R, Hillel offers students the opportunity to celebrate as a
community with meals and services. The holiday
kicks off with a festive Erev Rosh Hashanah dinner, followed by both Reform and Conservative services. This year, Joel Seligman, President of the U of R, will address both the Reform and Conservative services on Erev Rosh Hashanah.
Kippur is the Day of Atonement. It is often considered the holiest day
of the Jewish year. This day of fasting, prayer, and introspection
begins the evening before with Kol Nidre, a prayer that asks for
absolution from vows, and ends with the Neilah prayer.
- At the U of R, Yom Kippur begins with the opportunity for students to gather
together for a pre-fast meal. Each of the three services take place in the Interfaith Chapel. At the conclusion of Yom Kippur, students gather together for Break the Fast.
is a week-long fall festival. The sukkah, the non-permanent outdoor
hut, is meant to recall the time the Israelites spent wandering in the
desert. Sukkot was also once a holiday of agricultural thanksgiving, and
this is celebrated with the holiday's other great ritual items: the
lulav and etrog.
- Students erect and decorate a sukkah beside Wilson Commons, the Student Union. A lulav and etrog are kept there for all who wish to participate in the blessings. Shabbat under the stars is a Shabbat meal held in the sukkah each year.
commemorates the victory of the Jews over the Syrian Greeks in 164 BCE,
and is celebrated by lighting a hanukkiah, or menorah, for eight days,
eating latkes, and playing dreidel.
- At the U of R, Hillel holds nightly candle lighting and holiday activities in Wilson Commons when school is in session. Students make latkes and enjoy sufganiyot