Prospective Students

Thank you for taking an interest in Kehillat Hillel Ha’azinu (KHH, as we call it). We are a vibrant Orthodox community at UMass Amherst. Our goal is to help enrich the Orthodox environment at UMass Amherst, the other four colleges, and the Pioneer Valley.

Many college students choose to attend UMass Amherst for college, and KHH is here to meet their needs. We have davening every day, including on Shabbat and the Chagim, a local mikva (located at Chabad), Kosher dining (through UMass Dining Services), classes, and a JLIC couple. If you can think it, we have it!

Jewish Learning Initiative on Campus

The Jewish Learning Initiative on Campus is a joint program of the Orthodox Union and Hillel. It helps enhance and foster an Orthodox learning environment at UMass Amherst. The program brings a tremendous amount of learning, social, and community aspects to the UMass Hillel. We are the thirteenth campus in the world to be chosen to have a JLIC schliach couple.

Kosher Dining & Food Availability

Kosher Dining is handled through the award winning UMass Dining Services (www.umassdining.com) in the Franklin Dining Commons. The kosher kitchen has its own kitchen staff that caters exclusively to the students on the Kosher meal plan. The current hours of operation during the fall and spring semesters are Sunday through Thursday from 11AM to 7:30PM and Friday and Saturday from 11AM to 8PM.

Friday night, Shabbat lunch, and Seudat Shlisheit meals are all available at UMass Hillel (free for members of the UMass Amherst community).

Off campus, Stop & Shop, Big Y, Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods carry a variety of kosher options year round and provide a very wide Pesach selection during the spring.

(The KDC and Hillel are both under the Vaad of Springfield, Massachusetts.)

Housing

All freshmen students are required to reside on campus their first year (exemptions have been made for students requesting to live in the UMass Hillel, contact the housing assignment office for more information), most students decide to live in Central or Orchard Hill because of their proximity to both the Kosher Dining Commons and UMass Hillel.

In addition to on campus student housing, UMass Hillel has space available for up to 26 students in the Jewish Living and Learning Community (JLLC) on the top floor.

Learning

No Jewish community is complete without learning opportunities. Students meet weekly to learn in groups, attend classes, have charuvtot, or schedule time to learn one-on-one with the JLIC couple. There is also a weekly Beit Midrash every sunday evening. Each semester, several distinguished speakers visit campus and give shiurim, including visiting rabbis, professors, amongst others.

Shabbat

Every weekend through the academic spring and fall semesters, the entire UMass Hillel community gathers at UMass Hillel. The atmosphere is inviting and welcoming. KHH has davening every Shabbat during the academic fall and spring semesters.

There are meals Friday night, Shabbat lunch, and for Seudat Shlisheit (free to UMass Amherst students). The student-run nature of Shabbat lunch allows for an intimate environment where non-affiliated students can experience Shabbat in a warm and casual atmosphere. We also have frequent Friday night onegs that are eagerly anticipated during the week.

The Shabbat atmosphere that KHH brings to the UMass Hillel is a wonderful compliment to an already great community. Shabbat at UMass Amherst is a time to relax, learn, eat, daven, and to spend quality time with the friends you will make here.

Davening

KHH has davening every morning at UMass Hillel. We also have davening every Shabbat (Friday night, and Saturday morning).

Mikva

There is a mikva available for student use at the Chabad House, just minutes on foot from the UMass Hillel and campus housing.

UMass Hillel

We are sponsored by UMass Hillel. Recognized internationally as a leader in creative campus programming, UMass Hillel is the only campus chapter in the world to win the William Haber Award for outstanding programming six times! There are over 30 student groups under Hillel auspices including a tzedakah coalition, Jewish Womens Collective, and FYSH, a group catering to the needs of Jewish freshmen.

UMass Chabad

The Chabad House at UMass Amherst is a warm and friendly community that is welcoming to everyone. Chabad features a comfortable Shabbat atmosphere with theme Friday night dinners throughout the year, including Hawaiian Shabbat, Sushi Shabbat, and Taco Shabbat. Chabad also offers 1-credit accredited UMass Amherst classes, along with weekly programs (coffee and Kabbalah, Talmud, etc..), along with events for the Chagim and more!

The Five College System

KHH includes students from the surrounding four colleges: Amherst College, Hampshire College, Mount Holyoke College, and Smith College. We welcome students from the other four colleges and often extend ourselves to the general community as a resource. If you are looking at attending one of the other colleges in the consortium, we welcome you to our community. We can even arrange accommodations for Shabbat, just let us know!