Shabbat reimagined

Shabbat is a time for personal reflection. We have created a shabbat program that allows each student to get the most out of their individual Shabbat experience in and out of the Hillel community. 

Traditional Shabbat

The first shabbat of every month and on major holidays there will be a traditional style Shabbat. Services and a discussion will be hosted on the fourth floor of Douglass with a Kosher dinner served on the first floor in the Genesee Ballroom. We alternate between Conservative and Reform style services, and also offer a discussion group as an alternative service. 

Traditional Shabbat Dates - Spring Semester 2018

  • January 19th
  • February 2nd
  • February 9th - Shabbat HaGadol: Avi Schaefer Shabbat
  • March 2nd
  • March 30th - First Night of Passover
  • April 6th - Last Night of Passover
  • May 4th
  • May 18th - Graduation Shabbat!

Meliora Weekend Shabbat

We are so excited to welcome families and alumni to campus for Meliora Weekend. Hillel will be hosting Shabbat services and dinner on Friday October 13th. Services will continue to be held on the fourth floor of Douglass with dinner following. For more information and to register click here


Once a year, in February, we host a large interfaith Shabbat gathering in honor of Avi Schaefer. Avi was a a passionate student at Brown University studying International Relations in the hopes of helping to promote peace and understanding between Israelis and Palestinians. He served in the IDF prior to attending Brown University. In February 2010, Avi was tragically killed by a drunk driver. Shortly after, the Avi Schaefer Fund was created and is "dedicated to nurturing Avi’s values of mutual respect and understanding through cultivating opportunities for informed dialogue and by empowering young people to be change-makers in the world."

In honor of Avi, we gather our peers and partners together each February to celebrate our similarities and differences, discuss contemporary politics and join together in interfaith dialogue and discussion. 

Shabbat Around Campus

The second Shabbat of each month will be focused on creating your own shabbat with your own community. By emailing us at you can sign up to host your own Shabbat dinner. Invite your friends and Hillel will provide you with grape juice, local Kosher challah, dorm safe candles, and a gift card to your favorite local grocery store. 

Shabbat Around Campus Opportunities - Spring Semester 2018

  • January 26th
  • February 16th
  • February 23rd
  • March 9th
  • March 16th - Spring Break
  • March 23rd
  • April 13th
  • April 27th
  • May 11th

Alternative Shabbat

The third Shabbat of each month will be something completely different. Shabbat doesn't have to include services followed by dinner. For many people it doesn't. Simply by gathering and recognizing the presence of Shabbat is what Alternative Shabbat is all about. Some weeks will be a unique service and dinner, some will just have dinner, some will be a different style service, some will have neither. Each week will be unique to allow students to create Shabbat in a completely different atmosphere. 

Alternative Shabbat Dates - Spring Semester 2018

  • February 16th
  • April 20th

Shabbat in the community

Rochester loves U of R students so much they want to feed them! The final Shabbat of each month will have students traveling to the homes of Rochester families, found with assistance of the Jewish Federation of Rochester. Students have the opportunity to have a home cooked meal and create Shabbat with a local family. Transportation will provided. 

Shabbat in the Community Dates - Spring Semester 2018

  • January 26th
  • February 23rd
  • March 23rd
  • April 27th