Spotlight on Greater Portland Hillel

PHOTO: Hillel staff and student leaders at the New Student Orientation Shabbat.


Service Area: Jewish community building & education | 503-867-3646
2022 Allocation: $37,200
Mission: PDX Hillel envisions a world where every Jewish student is inspired to make an enduring commitment to Jewish life, learning and Israel. We strive to create a welcoming and safe space on campus for ALL kinds of Jewish students. 

The Greater Portland Hillel is expanding its reach beyond its established campus homes and its traditional programming to reach and connect more students on campuses across the metro area.
“Support from the Jewish Federation enables us to expand our growth into our campus communities by hosting more events and building more relationships with Jewish students,” says PDX Hillel Executive Director Hannah Sherman. “We are engaging more Jewish students than ever before, increasing our engagement by nearly 10% over this time last year.” 
“We are expanding our reach further into the Reed and University of Portland communities,” she says. “We aim to build bridges between our students at all Portland-area campuses, so that they have a greater sense of connection to one another … and our PDX Hillel family.”
Focusing programs on social justice has also increased participation. Previously unengaged students are finding ways to participate in Jewish life that are meaningful to them. Programming is led and driven by the students.
PDX Hillel also works to provide a safe environment and to fight antisemitism and anti-Zionism on campus by building strong relationships with university administrators and partners. To support student programs, Hillel staff create Israel programming to expose students to diversity in Israel and improve the campus climate around Israel discussions. Next summer, PDX Hillel will take PSU student leaders to Israel for an immersive educational experience to bring nuance to the dialogue around Israel on campus.
To connect students with the local Jewish community, Hillel offers Jewbur, a free Uber ride to synagogues for services. A new initiative, Shabbat Across Portland, launches Dec. 2 to connect students from all Portland-area campuses with the local Jewish community for Shabbat dinners across town.
To host students for Shabbat throughout the year, please contact Hannah Sherman at


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