The Orthodox Community at UCLA
The Orthodox community at UCLA is unique, comprised of a wide range of individuals from a variety of backgrounds. It is known for being warm, welcoming and engaging, offering a menu of weekly programming, learning and social opportunities.
UCLA is both a residential and a commuter campus that shines with great programs and shiurim. Nestled in scenic Westwood, it is an easy drive from the vibrant Jewish communities of L.A. and the plethora of kosher restaurants, shuls and programs housed there. The Orthodox community at UCLA is very warm and accessible, with a wide range of students, programs and classes. A number of Orthodox students hold positions on Hillel’s student board and represent the needs and interests of the Orthodox community to Hillel.
Hillel at UCLA
Hillel at UCLA acts as an umbrella for a multitude of student-run organizations, each serving to empower some niche passion. Endowed centers for Israel and Jewish studies support an abundance of academic courses. There is a beautiful, stocked Beit Midrash, daily OU-JLIC Shacharit and Minchah, and a wide range of shiurim and chaburot offered each week. Find out more at ucla.hillel.org!
Shabbat at UCLA is one of the weekly programmatic highlights, embracing residential students for miyanim, meals and socialization. Three catered meals are provided by Hillel, which becomes the destination for Shabbat celebrations as students gather to daven, eat and spend the day relaxing and playing games in the lounge.
There is a surge of energy and excitement before Shabbat, as ‘on-campus’ students host their friends for Shabbat. Shabbat opens with a spiritual Kabbalat Shabbat Minyan at Hillel followed by a kiddush with zemirot and socializing. Dinner with the rest of the Hillel community follows catered for free by Hillel. Dinner is accompanied by some sort of program followed by dessert and an Oneg. Saturday morning before davening there are student led shiurs. After Davening there is lunch at Hillel and the building remains open for hanging out, games and chavruta learning all day. Students head back across campus for a Seudah Slishit hosted at the Bayit, the Jewish Co-op on campus, followed by Havdallah. There is an eruv that encompasses the entire campus as well as the residence halls and oﬀ campus housing.
Hillel’s meat cafeteria is open lunchtime Monday – Thursday and accepts cash and UCLA meal swipes. There is also a limited kosher menu in UCLA’s residential dining halls. Hillel hosts a fully kosher Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf that serves dairy drinks and pastries all day. OU-JLIC offers free lunch and learns almost daily. There are kosher, prepackaged dinners sold in the residence halls as part of the university meal plan. There are also kosher packaged meals sold on campus.
Housing at UCLA
Most Orthodox students live at home, within a ten mile radius of campus. Students who live on campus often start living in the dorms during their first year and then move to The Bayit, a Jewish co-op off campus, or in off-campus apartments. In addition, a handful of students from other local campuses choose to live near UCLA to participate in the unique communal experience OU-JLIC offers.