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General Information

RPI is a wonderful place with active minds and forward thinkers. We're one of the more active Hillels for our size - we have Shabbat Dinner every other week and we host fun, interactive events, for the weeks in between. Food is always provided.

For those of you who keep strictly kosher or want to start keeping kosher, you can contact the Dean of Students Office (DOSO) petitioning to live off campus at our kosher house. We are working closely with DOSO to get a specific form for this case. However, at the moment you have to contact DOSO directly. Please send us an email before doing so and we will be happy to help you.

There are three synagogues in Troy, and several more in the surrounding area. Niskayuna has some wonderful people and Albany has quite a few dedicated shuls.

Troy's quite a city for its size and descent from brilliance as the third wealthiest city in America. If you come here, you'll be part of a revival that has brought in businesses such as Collar City Guitars, The Brown Bag, The Daily Grind, and the other businesses.

If you will be visiting campus and want to meet with a hillel representative or have any questions regarding RPI and our Jewish community, feel free to email us at hillel@rpi.edu.

Thanks for your time, and we hope to see you soon!

Frequently asked questions

Where is Hillel located?

The Hillel office is located in the Chaplain's office inside the Student Union.

What does Hillel do for High Holidays?

With Conservative, Orthodox, and Reform Shuls within walking distance of campus, RPI-Sage Hillel is able to send a contingent to each Shul for services on all days of both Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. Then, as Yom Kippur draws to close, Hillel hosts our own break the fast event with Lox, Bagel, and Cream cheese that you could possibly want.

Who runs the RPI-Sage Hillel?

The RPI-Sage Hillel is completely studet run by our board of dedicated officers. More information can be found under the "About" tab above.

Where can I get kosher food on campus?

Every Friday night there is a kosher shabbat dinner run by one of the Jewish organizations on campus. Other than that, Sodexo provides basic kosher food if you meet with them ahead of time and make arrangments.

How many Jews does it take to make a Hillel Board?

Our executive board is made up of 5 officers who help to run the general board. The general board offers a multitude of minor officer postions so as to help hillel run smoothly and efficently.

What does Hillel do for Passover?

The RPI-Sage hillel runs a strictly kosher Passover meal plan for the entirety of passover along with two full Passover Seders. For more informsation, click the Passover tab above.

I'm not very Jewish. Can I still come to Hillel?

First of all, if you're Jewish you're Jewish. But it does not matter how religious you are, we welcome everybody with warm arms and food! Even if you've never been to a Shabbat dinner before, come and check it out, we promise you a welcoming community and a nice relaxing night.

Is there kosher food available through the university?

The commons dining hall has a special dietary needs room which is isolated from the rest of the food. Within that room there are very limited kosher options. For specifics, you should email Sodexo, the food service provider on campus, however, many studemts have reported very little success with them.

What does Hillel Do for Shabbat?

On average, Hillel hosts a shabbat dinner every other week with food catered by Chabad on Campus. The food is always strictly kosher to Orthodox standards. On weeks which we do not host a shabbat dinner, Chabad on Campus hosts a Shabbat dinner at the Chabad house on 15th street, a 10 minute walk from campus. There are shuls close to campus in which students can attend on Saturday mornings.

How many Jewish students currently attend RPI? Orthodox? Conservative? Reform?

There around around 300 Jewish students on campus during any given semester.
Being Torah observant at RPI is difficult due to the limited access to kosher food through the mandatory meal plan and the key card requirements to enter dorm rooms, so there is a very small population of more observant Jewish students. But with some diligent planning and meetings ahead of time, it is possible to make it work, and we will be happy to assist and put you in contact with the right people.

Who lives in the kosher house?

The hillel does not currently have any occupants in a Kosher house. We are working to gather a group of student interested in living in a kosher/Hillel house so as to host one for an upcoming school year.

What is the role of chabad for students at RPI? Who goes to Hillel and who goes to Chabad? Do these organizations work together or compete?

Chabad on Campus is an official “Union recognized” club on campus, just like Hillel. The two organizations work together for the betterment of Jewish life at RPI. Every other week, Hillel hosts Shabbat dinners at the student union, catered by Chabad to ensure the highest level of kashrut. On the weeks that Hillel does not have dinner, Chabad on Campus hosts Shabbat dinners at the Chabad house on 15th street. The level of cooperation can also be seen during Passover when the two organizations work to ensure a kosher and enjoyable Passover meal plan for as many students as possible. Many students do go to both Hillel events and Chabad on Campus events, however, there are some students that prefer one over the other. But no matter who goes to which events, we highlight that both organizations are here to support and enhance Jewish life at RPI and we strongly encourage all of the RPI Jewish community to support both organizations.

Are the services egalitarian? Conservative, Reform, or orthodox? How many people generally attend services?

Hillel services are egalitarian and are run flexibly depending on the number of students who attend and their religious comfort level.

How close is the nearest Orthodox synagogue to RPI campus?

All three area synagogues are within a 20-25 minute walk of campus. Further details can be found under the "Campus & Community" tab above.


Have any further/specific questions you want answered?
Feel free to email us with any and questions you may have: hillel@rpi.edu