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Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How many Jewish students are there on campus?
A: There are approximately 800 Jewish students at the College of Charleston, more than 8% of the undergraduate student population.

Q: How many members does the College of Charleston JSU/Hillel have? Does it cost to participate in events?
A: There is no such thing as membership at the College of Charleston Hillel. Everyone is welcome to participant in all programs. Events are free to all students.

Q: Why is it called the Jewish Student Union/Hillel?
A:In the early 90’s, a group of students began organizing events for Jewish students at the College of Charleston. They called themselves the Jewish Student Union. A decade later, JSU became a Soref affiliate of Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life. Since then, we have become the Jewish Student Union/Hillel. Many students still refer to us as the JSU.

Q. What is a Soref?
A: The Soref affiliation is a Hillel initiative reserved for schools with small Jewish communities and limited resources. Hillel refers to these campuses as “Small and Mighty.” However, as a fellow Soref Advisor recently observed, “The College of Charleston isn’t so small and mighty!” Over the past decade, the Jewish student population at the College has grown exponentially. So too has our funding and resources. Although we are still considered a Soref, our programming and presence on campus rivals that of larger, more established Hillels around the country.

Q: Where does JSU/Hillel get its funding?
A: JSU/Hillel is funded by the Yaschik/Arnold Jewish Studies Program at the College of Charleston through community and parent donations, as well as grants. We are fortunate to be able to provide our programming free of charge to students.

Q: How connected is the Hillel to the University community?
A: Hillel is integrated into the College of Charleston community through its dynamic programs, co-sponsorship of events with other student groups, and the active involvement of students in many other College organizations. The College is very supportive of Hillel and its role in students’ lives. The campus works hard to provide a welcoming atmosphere for Jewish students, faculty, and family.

Q: How active is Hillel at the College of Charleston?
A: Very!! We sponsor weekly events, including our Meet-to-Eats every Wednesday night and Shabbat service and dinner on Friday nights. Meet-to-Eats are free dinners that alternate between local restaurants and the Jewish Studies Center. We also offer welcome back and holiday events, beach days, community service programming, retreats, and our own summer Taglit-Birthright Israel campus trip. Check out our website at www.cofc.edu/~jsuhillel to see our calendar. JSU/Hillel is recognized as one of the largest student organizations at the College of Charleston.

Q: How many students attend your events?
A: Attendance depends on the program. An average Meet-to-Eat attracts 60-80 students. On Friday nights, we serve 45-65 students. Other events, such as our Passover Seders or Purim Party, attract 100 students or more.

Q: What does Hillel provide for students on holidays?
A: Hillel sponsors holiday meals and programs for most Jewish holidays and arranges transportation to local synagogues when needed. Hillel offers meals for both nights of Rosh Hashanah, a Break-the Fast for Yom Kippur and seders for Passover. We also provide kosher for Passover lunches and dinners throughout the holiday at no extra cost to students. Local synagogues welcome students for the holidays and Shabbat. The Reform temple and the Orthodox synagogue are located only a few blocks from campus. The Conservative synagogue is a short drive, however, Hillel works hard to arrange transportation for students wishing to attend services there. You can find more information about the synagogues at their websites:
KKBE (Reform): www.kkbe.org
Emanu-el (Conservative): www.emanu-el.com
BSBI (Orthodox): www.bsbisynagogue.com
Dor Tikvah (Orthodox) : www.dortikvah.org

Q: Can the College of Charleston Hillel assist me in going to Israel?
A: Yes, we participate in the Taglit-Birthright Israel program. Jewish students between the ages of 18-26 who have not been on a peer trip to Israel since their bar or bat mitzvah are eligible for a free trip. We also assist students in studying abroad in Israel. There are a large number of diverse programs that allow students to take a wide range of courses while in Israel. Summer, semester, and year long opportunities are available. Contact Jessica Lilly at lillyja@cofc.edu to find out more.

Q: Can I study Hebrew at the College of Charleston?
A: Yes! The College of Charleston currently offers four semesters of Hebrew, as well as a limited number of upper-level classes. The four semesters of Hebrew also satisfy your foreign language requirement for the College and count toward the Jewish Studies minor. For more information about the minor, contact the Jewish Studies Program at 843-953-5682 or visit it us on the web.

Q: Can prospective students tour the JSU/Hillel and meet with students?
A: Definitely! We can arrange for prospective students to tour the campus and our building as well as meet our professors and students. If you would like to visit the College and/or attend a JSU/Hillel event, please email us at sluckihe@cofc.edu or call 843-953-0415.