Frequently Asked Questions

What is Hillel?

Hillel is the Foundation for Jewish Life, which supports Jewish community and engagement on hundreds of college campuses around the world.

How many Jewish students are enrolled at UMBC? What is Jewish life like here at UMBC?

UMBC Hillel estimates that there are approximately 1,000 Jewish undergraduate students and hundreds of Jewish graduate students enrolled both full and part-time at UMBC. UMBC Hillel professionals, student interns, and student leaders are in contact with between three and four hundred Jewish students on campus each year. The Jewish students at UMBC represent a dynamic and diverse part of the UMBC campus who are actively engaged in pursing both their academic goals as well as extracurricular community involvement.

How connected is UMBC Hillel to the rest of the UMBC Community?

Over the past seven years Hillel has become increasingly integrated into the larger university community. Though progressive programming, co-sponsorship of events, and the involvement of active students in a variety of other clubs and organizations on campus, UMBC Hillel has grown within the university. The UMBC administration has always been very supportive of Hillel and its role on campus and has worked hard to provide a welcoming atmosphere for Jewish students, faculty, staff, and friends.

Where is UMBC Hillel located on campus?

Everywhere! UMBC Hillel works to engage students in meaningful one-on-one conversations, educational programming, and a wide variety of Jewish cultural experiences throughout campus.

If you are looking to find the UMBC Hillel professionals, you can often find them in their office located in the Interfaith Center (IFC). The IFC is conveniently located in the auxiliary trailers between the Susquehanna and Chesapeake residence halls. It is less than a five minute walk from The Commons, the AOK Library and True Grits Dining Hall.

Is there a kosher meal plan offered at UMBC?

Yes! Fresh kosher sandwiches and wraps are available in The Commons and True Grit’s dining hall serves hot kosher meals for lunch and dinner Sunday through Thursday in the Kosher Corner under Star-K supervision.

UMBC Hillel provides Shabbat dinner many weeks during the semester and there is a kosher microwave located in our office in the Interfaith Center.

For more information about kosher options at UMBC please visit the dining services website here: Kosher Dining at UMBC

What kind of Shabbat programming do you provide?

UMBC Hillel offers two types of Friday Shabbat experiences; Ask Big Questions and student-led themed dinners.

Approximately once per month we host an Ask Big Questions Shabbat on Commons Main Street. During this dinner students, faculty and staff, both Jewish and non Jewish, come together for meaningful discussion that sparks deeper thought into the “Big Questions” that are universally relevant. By having conversations around life’s “Big Questions,” we can create understanding among people on campus, in our communities, and around the world. The discussions begin at 615 and a free kosher dinner is serves approximately an hour later.

Each month UMBC Hillel coordinates themed Shabbat dinners in the Interfaith Center. These dinners are preceded by a student planned event which varies each time. The cost of these kosher dinners is $5 a student. All are welcome to attend.

Please visit the UMBC Hillel Shabbat Page for more updated information.

Is there a daily minyan (prayer group)?

Recently there has been an Orthodox-style minyan that has met for mincha (afternoon services) during most of the year. UMBC Hillel is happy to coordinate these services based on need. For more information about mincha minyan, email

Are there Judaic Studies classes at UMBC?

There sure are! You can even minor in Judaic Studies. Click here for details.