Frequently Asked Questions about Jewish Life at Elon
What is the Jewish community like at Elon? How large is the Jewish population?
Over 500 Jewish students attend Elon University. The Jewish community is vibrant and growing, with approximately 150+ Jewish students entering Elon as first-year students in August 2014. Elon Jewish students come from a wide range of backgrounds; some come from families with one Jewish parent, some come from families with two Jewish parents; some come from homes that have made Judaism a vital part of family life and some come from families that don't practice Judaism at all. And all are welcome at Elon Hillel! There are also Jewish faculty and staff who are actively involved in Elon Hillel.
What kinds of activities does Hillel sponsor?
Elon Hillel offers social, cultural, educational, religious and community service events. The Hillel Board of 11 students offers at least one program each week in addition to a Kabbalat Shabbat program each Friday. The most popular activities are monthly bagel brunches, Hanukkah Party, Challah for Hunger, cooking projects, Shabbat dinners, Passover seder and Passover meals, building the sukkah, Purim, Israel events, and Yom HaShoah programs. All events are planned by students, with support from the Hillel staff.
Is there Kosher food on campus?
Yes! In February 2014, Elon opened "Green World" an all-access dining option in Colonnades. Green World provides vegan/vegetarian dining using pots and pans which are only used for vegan and vegetarian food. Paper plates & disposable cutlery is available. The kitchen and dining room are not under rabbinic supervision, but Hillel staff and Professor (Rabbi) Geoffrey Claussen have met with Aramark staff and reviewed recipes, ingredients, and food preparation procedures.
The Sklut Hillel Center is set up with a clear separation of meat and dairy foods. The main kitchen is meat-free; the outdoor grill is used for preparing meat. Students are welcome to cook and eat at the Hillel Center, with food provided free of charge thanks to the "Fill the Fridge campaign supported by Jewish parents.
During Passover, the main dining halls serve matzoh and one non-chametz main dish at every meal. Elon Hillel provides free Kosher-for-Passover lunches and dinners on a drop-in basis.
What’s it like to celebrate Jewish holidays on campus?
Hillel gathers for all major Jewish holidays. High Holy Day services are held on campus each year. We know it's hard to be away from home during the holidays, so we try to create that family feeling here on campus with our own traditions for Break the Fast, Sukkot, Tu B'Shvat, Hanukkah, Purim, Yom Hashoah and more.
Is there a Hillel House at Elon?
Yes! The Sklut Hillel Center opened its doors in January 2013! The Center includes a large open kitchen, meeting rooms, student work rooms, a comfortable lounge, and beautiful outdoor seating."We enjoyed our visit to Elon so much! The Hillel Center is a gem, with special strokes of genius: the open kitchen that allows for community to flow out into larger space, the shared garden, the outdoor "meat" kitchen, and, especially the washer and dryer. Warm, "haimish," inviting, cozy.... perfect." Rabbi Steven Sager, Rabbi Emeritus Congregation Beth El (Durham, NC), founder of Sicha
Is there a Jewish Studies program at Elon?
A wide range of Jewish Studies courses are available at Elon, including courses in modern Hebrew and in departments including Religious Studies, Foreign Languages, Philosophy, History and Geography, Sociology and Anthropology, and English. Students may minor in Jewish Studies and may apply to pursue an independent major. For further details, check out the Jewish Studies website.
How has the Jewish population at Elon grown?
- The entering class of '18 has nearly 40% more Jewish students that the class of '17
- In ten years, 2003-2013, the number of Jewish applicants nearly quadrupled
- In ten years, 2003-2013, the number of Jewish students enrolling each year nearly quadrupled
- In five years, 2008-2013, the number of Jewish students enrolling each year increased two-and-a-half times
The Sklut Hillel Center is located at 401 E. College Avenue, at the corner of E. College & Antioch, across from the tennis courts
2960 Campus Box
Elon, NC 27244
Rabbi Becky Joseph
Hillel Director and Associate Chaplain for Jewish Life