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Steven Burg  

Dara Bourassa

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Shippensburg University Hillel/Jewish Student Organization

אוניברסיטה של שיפפאנסבארג

“Maximizing the number of Jews doing Jewish with other Jews.”

National Hillel Mission Statement

Shalom & Welcome! 

The Shippensburg University Hillel is a student-run organization dedicated to enhancing Jewish life on the campus of Shippensburg University and fostering understanding of Jewish life, religion and culture for both Jewish and non-Jewish students. The organization is open to all members of the campus community. The organization also provides religious, social, and educational programs of Jewish nature to the students of the University.  Shippensburg University Hillel/Jewish Student Organization is affiliated with the national Hillel organization as a "Small and Mighty" campus.

Hillel Sukkah building 2010

Shippensburg University Hillel/JSO students building a sukkah on campus (2010).

Jewish Life on Campus

Shippensburg University has a small number of Jewish students, but the SU Hillel/JSO works hard to reach out to Jewish students on campus and to create opportunities for Jewish students to interact with each other and to build a strong sense of community. Past events have included events such as movie nights, sukkah building, a student-run Passover seder, Chanukah parties, and road trips to celebrate Shabbat with students on other area campuses.  Upcoming programs will include a display of Israeli martial arts techniques, a ga-ga tournament, and a community-wide Havdalah celebration. 

History of the Jewish Student Organization and Shippensburg University Hillel/JSO

The Shippensburg University Jewish Student Organization was founded in 1973.  Its first president was Michael J. Shapiro and the organization's original faculty advisor was Dr. Norman Sharp.  Twelve student members signed the organization's founding document at the time of its creation. Dr. Sharp retired from Shippensburg University in 2000, and Dr. Steven Burg became the organization's advisor that year. In 2005, the membership voted to affiliate the organization with Hillel, the Foundation for Jewish Campus Life. The next year, Dr. Dara Bourassa became the organization's co-advisor in 2006. Today, Shippensburg University Hillel/JSO is continuing the long tradition of being a fun and welcoming place for Jewish students at Shippensburg University.

Hillel: The Foundation for Campus Life

Hillel is largest Jewish campus organization in the world, with organizaitons on 500 colleges and universities and a global network of regional centers, campus Foundations and Hillel student organizations. Hillel's mission is to enrich the lives of Jewish undergraduate and graduate students so that they may enrich the Jewish people and the world. Hillel student leaders, professionals and lay leaders are dedicated to creating a pluralistic, welcoming and inclusive environment for Jewish college students, where they are encouraged to grow intellectually, spiritually and socially. Hillel helps students find a balance in being distinctively Jewish and universally human by encouraging them to pursue tzedek (social justice), tikkun olam (repairing the world) and Jewish learning, and to support Israel and global Jewish peoplehood. Hillel is committed to excellence, innovation, accountability and results.  Shippensburg University Hillel/JSO is also a "Small and Mighty" campus--a program supported by Hillel to enable students to celebrate Jewish life on campuses with smaller Jewish populations. 

Campus Spiritual Center

Shippensburg University Hillel/Jewish Student Organization has use of the campus Spiritual Center that includes a 2,300 square foot Interfaith Chapel, a smaller meditation room for more intimate religious functions, a meeting room, office space, and a fully-equipped kitchen. It shares the Spiritual Center with other campus religious organizations.

Jewish Life in Central Pennsylvania

There are several Jewish organizations and congregations only a short distance from campus. These include:

Jewish Federation of Greater Harrisburg --Harrisburg (50 minutes from campus)

Temple Beth El (Conservative)--Harrisburg (50 minutes from campus)

Chisuk Emuna Congregation (conservative) - Harrisburg (50 minutes from campus)

Congregation Beth Tikvah - Carlisle (20 minutes from campus)

Historic B'nai Jacob Synagogue - Middletown (75 minutes from campus)

Kesher Israel Congregation (orthodox) - Harrisburg (50 minutes from campus)

Temple Sons of Abraham (inclusive)--Chambersburg (20 minutes from campus)

Temple Beth Shalom (reconstructionist) - Mechanicsburg (40 minutes from campus)

Temple Ohev Sholom (reformed) - Harrisburg (50 minutes from campus)

Milton B. Asbell Center for Jewish Life at Dickinson College--Carlisle (20 minutes from campus)