The Orthodox Community at UCLA
The Orthodox community at UCLA is increasingly student led. Official posts currently include two community co-chairs, a Gabbai, a Beit Midrash librarian, a women’s chair and a student intern. A number of Orthodox students hold positions on Hillel’s student board and represent the needs and interests of the OU-JLIC community to Hillel. With about a hundred Orthodox student, UCLA is a commuter campus that shines with great programs and shiurim.
Hillel at UCLA
Find out more at ucla.hillel.org!
Most of the Orthodox students live at home, within a ten mile radius of campus. The majority of Orthodox students living on campus live in the Bayit, a Jewish co-op a few blocks from campus. A handful of students live in the residence halls and another handful live in private apartments around Westwood Village.
Shabbat at UCLA
Shabbat on campus is a highlight of the Orthodox life on campus. Rather than a weekly exodus every Friday, there is an influx of energy and excitement as commuter students are hosted by their ‘on-campus’ friends to join an experience uniquely suited for college-aged members of the Orthodox community. Following services on Friday night, the Orthodox community partakes in a Kiddush, with Zemiros and socializing before joining the broader Hillel community for a free dinner. Shabbat morning begins with services at Hillel and is followed by another free, catered meal. Throughout Shabbat, students spend time at Hillel snacking, playing ping-pong, pool and board games in the lounge and catching up with friends.
There is an Eruv that encompasses the entire campus as well as the residence halls and off campus housing.
Kosher dining at UCLA
A Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf is located on the first floor of Hillel, where students can purchase cold and hot drinks, snacks and bagels throughout the week. There is a kosher meat restaurant that operates out of Hillel Monday through Thursday during lunch that offers a diverse array of fresh food that can be purchased with cash or a student ID. There are kosher, prepackaged dinners sold in the residence halls as part of the university meal plan. An extra fee is required to participate in the kosher meal plan. All meals are certified by the Heart K, the Kehilla of Los Angeles.
“You can’t be comfortable with others without being comfortable with yourself and your religion as part of an identity. OU-JLIC helps with that.” -Ebi R
“OU-JLIC is giving me a big opportunity to learn things about Judaism I have never learned before and I probably will never have the chance to learn later.”- Melody Bandary