What We Do

Jewish Engagement and Identity

Queens College Hillel seeks to provide students with meaningful Jewish experiences that encourage them to make an enduring commitment to Jewish life, learning, and Israel. As such, we plan, organize, and evaluate our work in keeping with Four Jewish Narratives*. Each of these narratives has its own distinct characteristics, values, and beliefs, and we believe every Jewish college student can find a home in at least one of them. We promote all four to give our students the greatest chance of finding meaningful experiences that will lead to enduring commitment.


The concept that in their diversity the Jews constitute one people that relate to each other as ‘family’ with a shared history and destiny, bound by mutual responsibility. Members are either born into the family or choose to join it, claiming historical or by-choice belonging to the line of Abraham. We welcome all Jews who self-identify with this family, and seek to promote the well-being of each of its members across ethnic, religious, economic, geographic or other lines.


The concept that the Jewish People (as described above) emanated from the Land of Israel and has the right to self-determination in its own land, known today as Israel. We welcome all jews who believe in this right regardless of political views, social agendas, religious affiliations or geographic boundaries.


The concept that a primary value in Jewish life is tikkun olam - the practice of making the world a better place. This includes activities such as volunteerism, care for the ill, aging, or disabled, protection of the environment, and taking care of those in need both inside and outside the Jewish community. We welcome all Jews who believe in these values.


The concept that the Jewish People and every Jew are in a covenantal relationship with God, and our obligations, activities, and beliefs associated with Judaism are in service of that relationship. We welcome all Jews who pursue Jewish life through a religious lens across the spectrum of denominational or ethnic backgrounds, traditions, habits, and beliefs.

 * This construct was developed by Gidi Grinstein and is outlined in his book "Flexigidity: The Secret of Jewish Adaptability, and the Challenge and Opportunity Facing Israel" co-edited with Josh Gottesman. Join the conversation at www.flexigidity.com.

Building Community

Beyond our programmatic values and approach, Hillel is in the vanguard of Queens College's recent efforts to support and expand residential life on campus driven by the understanding that a college education can mean more than what happens in the classroom. These efforts complement and enhance the College's historic service to students who commute.

Since the opening of The Summit (QC's on-campus dormitory) in 2009, a community of 300-400 residential Jewish students has developed around campus year-round. Hillel offers programs and activities virtually all day Monday through Thursday to maximally accommodate all student schedules (commuter and residential alike). Weekly Shabbat programs, evening events, holiday celebrations and more have become commonplace and are attended regularly by both residential students and commuters who make arrangements to stay on or near campus for nights, weekends, or holidays. Queens College Hillel is now a full-service Jewish community center on campus. Together, commuters and residents make Hillel a  home for everyone. We also continue to pursue our goal of including all Jewish students in celebrating ethnic, religious, and geographic diversity that is the hallmark of the QC Jewish community.

© 2018 Queens College Hillel