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.

Many college students choose to attend UMass Amherst for college, and KHH is here to meet their needs. We have davening on Shabbat and the Chagim, a local mikva (located at Chabad), Kosher dining (through UMass Dining Services), classes, and the best JLIC couple in the country. 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. Rabbi Raffi and Ariella Leicht regularly welcome us into their home for meals and classes, learn one-on-one with us, and our here to support us for whatever we need!

Kosher Dining & Food Availability

Kosher Dining is handled through the UMass Dining Services (www.umassdining.com), which was rated best in the country, in the Franklin Dining Commons. The kosher kitchen has its own kitchen staff that caters exclusively to the students on the Kosher meal plan. Our cook, Kerry, provides us with gourmet meals every day with several different options, and she even takes requests!

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. Herell’s Ice Cream in Northampton is also certified Kosher.

(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.

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

We have two Chabad Houses in Amherst. One is the town of Amherst’s and specifically catered to the four other colleges, and there is a UMass-specific Chabad. Students are welcomed with open arms at both Chabad Houses and they attend meals and events there regularly. . Chabad also offers 1-credit accredited UMass Amherst classes, along with weekly programs (coffee and Kabbalah, Talmud, etc..),  and 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!