Your latest update on Jewish student life at Penn State!
Parent and Alumni Newsletter - September
Campus Highlight: BKind PSU

Last week on campus, the newly formed BKind Initiative hosted their first event: BKind World.

What is BKind?

BKIND, founded in Israel by Eran Rozen and Dan Liebeschutz, aims to reach schools, educational groups, workplaces, and diverse communities, and energize them to take on a positive, kind and caring attitude toward others around them. Through unique presentations, BKIND inspires to action and enhance their own perceptions of what we can do to affect our own reality. Participants of BKIND World receive the official BKind Card, a tool used to promote “good deed chains” that motivate and let others know how they too can take an active part in making this world a better place.

In an effort to create a ‘BKIND World’ at Penn State, Penn State Hillel partnered with more than 20 Student Organizations to launch their first event on campus. Participating attendees were able to hear from BKIND Founders and Penn State Hillel’s BKIND Group, as well as learn more about the organizations participating in the ‘BKIND World’ (Bloom, Bridges to Prosperity, Brit Shalom, Community Help Centre/ Centre Helps, Council of Lion Hearts, Cystic Fibrosis Club, Dear Hero Program, DMAX Club, Empower Orphans, Enactus, Future Opportunities Reached by Mentorship Consulting (F.O.R.M.), Harmony, IFC, Kind Bars, Life Link, On My Honor, Parkinson Foundation, PSU Invitational, ServeState: Students for Philanthropy, She's the First, and Stand for State, UNICEF).

Check out their features in the local newspapers: 

The Collegian,
PSU News,
and Rise Underground

And, follow them on Facebook and learn more! 

Message to Alumni: 

As a graduate of Penn State University, you know that PSU alumni stay passionately loyal to their university.  Whether your loyalty shines during football season, or that moment you pass someone in a Penn State hat at the airport, Penn State pride runs deep.

Just as you support us by sharing stories and photos of your time on campus, we want to support you. If you are alum that want to stay connected to what is happening on campus, help build an alumni community in your neighborhood, or just want to know what other Jewish Penn Staters are up to, we want to help you.

Please visit our Connecting Alumni page to explore the ways you can get involved and stay connected.

If you have questions or would like to connect with us, please contact Stefanie Tapper, Director of Institutional Advancement, at

Message to Parents: 

We are thrilled to welcome you, your family, and your student to the Penn State Hillel Community!

At Penn State Hillel, we aim to enrich the lives of Jewish students by creating a pluralistic, welcoming, and inclusive environment where students can grow intellectually, spiritually, and socially.

We do our best to fulfill the needs of all our students and we are also prepared to deal with any obstacles that he or she might experience while on campus. Should you ever have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to call our office at 814-863-3816 or contact our Executive Director, Aaron Kaufman, at You can also feel free to reach out to Hannah Giterman at, our Director of Community Engagement, with any questions or concerns. She will be your primary contact over the course of your student’s time at Penn State.

We offer a number of opportunities to connect with students on campus and to help strengthen our community in and outside of State College. Please take a minute to visit explore our website to learn more and join our Facebook group: Penn State Hillel Parents. We also encourage you to join the Penn State Hillel Parent Circle as a way of staying connected to your student on campus, the Jewish community, and Penn State. Learn more here: Parent Circle.  In addition to our website, Facebook page and the Parent Circle, please check out our Chicken Soup Hotline that delivers kosher matzah ball soup to sick students, at no cost!

We look forward to seeing you on campus or in the community!  And remember, our students are our number one priority, so please do not hesitate to reach out to us with questions or concerns.

You're Invited: Parent & Families Weekend

Each year, Penn State Hillel participates in the annual Parents and Families Weekend. This year, the dates are October 13-15, 2017.

Penn State Hillel Events Include: 

Friday, October 13 –  Parents and Families are invited to a Shabbat Kiddush, Shabbat Services and Dinner. Shabbat is free for all thanks to our generous donors.

Sunday, October 15 – Penn State Hillel will host a Jewish Family Brunch – please check back for more information.

The official schedule of events, registration information and parking recommendations are posted here

There will be over 80 events held during Parents Weekend that will include academic college events, campus tours, information sessions, sporting events, musical performances
and much more. The weekend will kick-off early Friday afternoon and will wrap up on Sunday afternoon.

For questions, regarding Parents and Families Weekend, please contact Penn State Hillel’s Director of Community Engagement, Hannah Giterman, at or the Parents Program at 814-863-1313 or

Photos From Welcome Week: 

Heads Up! High Holidays!

Rosh Hashanah: 
9/20 - Erev Rosh Hashanah Services at 7:00pm
9/20 - Erev Rosh Hashanah Dinner at 8:00pm
9/21 - Morning Services - Day 1 at 10:00am
9/21 - Evening Services - Day 1 at 7:00pm
9/22 - Morning Services - Day 2 at 10:00am

Yom Kippur
9/29 - Kol Nidre Service at 6:45pm
9/30 - Yom Kippur Morning Service at 9:30am
9/30 - Yizkor Service at 6:30pm
9/30 - Neilah Service at 7:00pm
9/30 - Break the Fast Dinner at 7:50pm

All services & meals will take place at the Pasquerilla Spiritual Center ( on the corner of Allen and Curtin)

Pre-sale tickets are $18 per students, $36 per non-student.
Ticket prices will increase the day of! 

Tickets are available on our website at:

Birthright Israel with Us! 

Join Penn State Hillel for your gift of a FREE Birthright Israel trip with Penn State! We send several buses to Israel over Winter and Summer breaks and what sets our trips apart is that we are able to experience Israel as a Penn State Community! You will come back to campus having experienced an amazing trip in an incredible country and you will come back with 40 new friends on campus.

Winter 2017/18 Trip Dates: 
Bus 1: December 17-28 
Bus 2: December 26-January 7

Registration for the  summer trips are now OPEN. To register for your free trip to Israel by visiting www,

For more information about Birthright Israel:

Questions? Email Lauren Levinson at Penn State Hillel’s Israel Engagement Coordinator

In Case You Missed It: Pure

Pure, the first kosher dining hall, opened on campus! We were there for the first meal, and let us tell you --  it is DELICIOUS! Here are the details:

Located on the 2nd floor in Findlay Commons (East Food District, East Halls)

Under Star K Rabbinic Supervision and Masgiach Ronnie Berman, PURE is meat Kosher, and also free of the following nine common food allergens: dairy, eggs, wheat/gluten, soy, sesame, peanuts, tree nuts, fish and shellfish

Hours of Operation: 

  • Sunday brunch and dinner
  • Monday-Thursday dinner
  • Closed: Friday and Saturday
  • Monday-Thursday lunch
  • Major Jewish holidays

As part of the all-you care to eat operation, PURE is open to any student, faculty, staff, guest or visitor

All You Care to Eat Price:

  • Student with campus meal plan- $5.20
  • Guest of campus meal plan - $10.40
  • Lion cash or commuter meal plan - $13.25
  • Visitor $14.50 (credit card only, no cash accepted)

Examples of Pure’s menus:

  • Herb roasted turkey with golden gravy, green beans with sunflower seeds, mashed redskin potatoes
  • Steak Italiano with Tuscan garden vegetables, rosemary redskin potatoes and Italian slaw w/ olives
  • Thai green curry chicken stir-fry with rice, rice noodles, teriyaki vegan stir-fry w/ brown rice, wasabi cucumber salad
Copyright © 2016 Penn State Hillel, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
Penn State Hillel
114-117 Pasquerilla Spiritual Center
University ParkPa  16802