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UNC Hillel is our home. It built us into student leaders and deepened our connections to Jewish culture and community. 

Hillel is a place for students to connect, find comfort, and explore Judaism through service, education, and leadership. With input from our community, we, as the student board, create cultural programs, social events and religious services at Hillel to reflect our students’ and organization’s values.

Since the founding of UNC Hillel in 1936, we have been a pluralistic Jewish community for all Tar Heels. We do not promote one belief and instead encourage students to find the practice and rituals that work for them. We uphold that truth and value exist in all religions and engage in interfaith spaces on campus. Many Jewish people on our campus hold multiple identities and we invite them to bring their full selves to our space. 

UNC Hillel holds space to learn about and debate all aspects of Judaism. As a student board, we do not share the same perspectives on Israel, enriching our conversations and programming. We recognize that many Jewish students who frequent Hillel have a relationship with or exhibit a curiosity towards Israel, and as such we strive to meet that need. 

We recognize that many cultures and religions have historical connections to the land of Israel. Jews from all over the world consider Israel our homeland, as it is recognized in our scriptures, traditions and prayers. For Jewish people, Israel is a place of community, familial and religious connection that we strive to protect from violence. 

We believe Israel has the right to defend itself, as all other countries do, from terrorism. We mourn the loss of innocent lives in Israel and in Gaza. Israelis and Palestinians both deserve to live free from Hamas, violence and terrorism.

Oct. 7 was the largest attack on the Jewish community since the Holocaust. Many Jewish students, faculty and staff have family in Israel and are feeling emotions of anger, fear and grief. UNC Hillel is a space to grieve, process our emotions and be with a community who understands during this time. Hillel listens and supports us as tensions rise on our campus and antisemitism surges online and in Chapel Hill.

Since Oct. 7, Hillel has hosted a community-wide vigil, mental health support for students and programming for learning and community. We host accredited Israeli and Palestinian speakers who encourage civil discourse and model respectful disagreement. Our Israel-focused programs highlight differing perspectives and echo our desire for peace. 

UNC Hillel recognizes this conflict is complex and spans millennia and generations. We welcome everyone in the Carolina community with respect and encourage our fellow religious and cultural groups on campus to join nuanced and respectful discussions on how to improve the lives of those in the region and at UNC. If you're curious about Hillel, please stop by. If our current programming doesn’t meet your Jewish needs, we invite you to meet with us. Our doors are always open. 

- UNC Hillel Student Board

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