Q: How many Jewish undergraduate students are there on campus? What is Jewish life like here at Johns Hopkins?
A: There are over 400 Jewish students at JHU, approximately 8% of the undergraduate population. Jewish students are an active, dynamic part of both Hillel and the campus community. They are motivated, diverse and energetic, just as the general student body at JHU. There exist many opportunities for a student to become active in Jewish life—from culture and the arts to Israel advocacy to social justice to religious life—and students are always encouraged to pursue their own innovations and ideas.
Q: Where is Hillel located?
A: Hillel is centered in the Smokler Center for Jewish Life, at 3109 N. Charles Street. We are conveniently located across the street from the east side of Homewood Campus, two blocks away from the Homewood Apartments, and a short walk from the Baltimore Museum of Art.
Q: How connected is Hillel to the rest of the University community?
A: Hillel is integrated into the larger University community. Though dynamic programming, co-sponsorship of events, and the involvement of active students in many other University areas, Hillel has grown within Johns Hopkins. The University is 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. Some examples are an integrated Kosher dining plan, collaboration with the admissions office and Jewish Studies.
Q: What kind of student programs and groups does Hillel sponsor on campus?
A: There are a wide variety of student groups sponsored by JHU and Hopkins Hillel. Students are encouraged to pursue their ideas, take the initiative, as well as get involved with existing projects and groups. Visit the Student Groups page on this site for more information about each group.
Q: What kind of Shabbat programming do you provide?
A: There are three regular Friday night services in the Reform, Conservative and Orthodox traditions, all student led. Services are followed by a free communal dinner in the Smokler Center for Jewish Life, which draws 120-150 students each week (and not all Jewish!). Several times a semester, Hopkins Hillel hosts themed Shabbat dinners which tend to bring in a larger crowd. On Saturday mornings throughout the semester, we provide Orthodox services with lunch followed by Mincha, Seudah Shlishit, Ma’ariv, and Havdallah.
Q: Is there a daily minyan?
A: Yes, there are daily Orthodox services in the Beit Midrash (3rd Floor) of the Smokler Center for Jewish Life. Times for services may vary.
Q: Is there a Kosher Meal Plan on campus?
A: Yes. The Kosher dining plan falls under The Orthodox Union supervision. The University dining webpage offers information about weekday meals. The Hillel dining webpage has information about Shabbat and holiday meals, which are not offered through the previously linked department.
Q: What is the Jewish Studies Program like at JHU?
A: JHU has launched the Leonard and Helen R. Stulman Jewish Studies Program. The interdisciplinary program, launched with a $5 million gift from the Leonard and Helen R. Stulman Charitable Foundation of Baltimore, will include, among other things, new course offerings, fellowships for undergraduate and graduate students, public lectures, enhanced library resources, and visiting scholars in the field of Jewish Studies and related disciplines.
Q: Does the university allow incoming freshmen to request a Sabbath and/or Kosher observant roommate?
A: While the University does not allow incoming freshmen to request roommates based on religious observance, they do allow people to request a specific person to room with. If you would like to find someone with similar observance to room with, please fill out the Orthodox community’s Roommate Search Form here.