Have a question which isn't answered here? Contact the staff or any of the student leaders and we will be glad to answer it! We're all more than happy to help you think about whether Brown or RISD may be the right school for you.
How many Jewish students are there on campus?
There are approximately 1000 Jewish students at Brown, about 15% of the campus' population, and 150 at RISD, about 10% of the campus.
What kinds of activities/programming does Hillel sponsor?
Hillel offers opportunities to explore your Jewish identity through four pillars: Arts and Culture, Social Justice, Israel, and Religious Life. There are over 20 student groups affiliated with each pillar, reflecting the gamut of student interest and affiliation. Hillel also co-sponsors various events with other University organizations. Students are encouraged to pursue their ideas, take the initiative, as well as get involved with existing projects and groups. Find out more about Hillel's student groups here.
What kind of Shabbat options do you provide? Approximately how many students attend?
There are two regular Friday night prayer options in the Reform, and Havurah traditions. All services are led by students and attract between 20 and 60 people. Hillel also serves a weekly free Shabbat dinner to anyone in the Brown and RISD student community. These dinners are very popular, with an average attendance of 75-125. Some Saturday mornings there is an egalitarian service, also led entirely by students but there is free lunch and third meal provided weekly. More information on Brown Hillel's Shabbat programming.
How many students participate in Hillel activities?
Through its student groups, Shabbat services and meals, alternative break opportunities, parties, co-sponsored events, High Holidays services and Passover seder, Hillel reaches approximately 700 Jewish students.
Is there a Kosher Meal Plan on campus?
Yes, the University supports a kosher meal plan, through which students can opt for kosher food and still eat with their friends in the regular dining hall. That plan will cover all Shabbat and holiday meals as well, including Passover; on these dates, the meal plan will move to Hillel. Students who choose the regular University Food Service meal plan must make arrangements for Shabbat and holiday meals separately through Hillel. Find out more about Brown's Kosher and holiday meal options here.
How can I find out more about Hillel's programming and activities?
Check back at the web site to get up-to-date information about Hillel events. Printed events calendars will also be available on a regular basis. In addition, you can sign up to receive a weekly email, Hillel Community News, of notices about Hillel's current initiatives, events, job opportunities, and announcements, by emailing email@example.com.
Does Hillel offer a Birthright Israel trip? Can students study abroad in Israel?
Yes! Each winter and summer break, Hillel offers a free 10 day trip for Jewish students between the ages of 18-24. There are also other opportunities for travel or study in Israel. For instance, Brown University approves several programs at Universities in Israel to study abroad. Contact Elan Cohen for more information. You can also check out The Office of International programs.
Does Hillel have a membership fee?
Hillel has no formal membership; anyone from the Brown, RISD, and the Providence community can attend Hillel's programs. While there are no dues, certain meals and special events such as concerts can have a small charge.
I'm thinking about applying to Brown or RISD. Does Hillel arrange visits?
Yes. Hillel is happy to welcome you to the Brown community. The staff will gladly work with you and our student Welcoming Committee to arrange a visit and a stay with a Jewish student so that you can experience what Jewish life is like on campus first hand.