Shabbat and Holidays

The Jewish way encourages us to carve out time for rest, reflection and celebration, unplugging ourselves from the never-ending drumbeat of life. The whole BU community is welcome to join Shabbat and holidays celebrations.

Below is information about Shabbat and Holiday celebrations.


BU Hillel offers inclusive, spirited, and FREE weekly Shabbat experiences open to all BU students. This Fall 2018 semester, we are excited to host FREE weekly Shabbat dinners at BU Hillel, as well as meaningful and spiritual Friday night community programming:

  • 6:00pm
    Song-filled Shabbat services (Reform, Conservative & Orthodox)
  • 7:00 pm
    Delicious, family-style dinner (FREE). RSVP by Thursday very much appreciated:
  • 8:00 pm
    Dessert and fun. After dinner plenty of time for ping-pong, games, shmoozing and activities.

Friday Night Lights

In addition to weekly Shabbat, we offer a featured Shabbat 1-2 times per month, tabbed Friday Night Lights. Here we welcome guest speakers, or present a unique and innovate theme for that week’s Shabbat experience. Also, we offer a Big Q Conversation in addition to services. Here is the schedule for the fall 2018 semester:

  • 9/21: Associate Provost for Diversity and Inclusion, Crystal Williams
  • 10/19: University Provost, Dr. Jean Morrison
  • 11/23: Dean of Students, Kenneth Elmore and Dean of Religious Life, Rev. Robert A. Hill
  • 11/30: Shabbat Out (at locations around the city of Boston!)

Make sure to follow our Facebook page for updated details on these events.

Sign up for this week’s Shabbat meal!a-quick-and-easy-passover-dish-matzo-ball-soup

Make Shabbat special by joining us for a gourmet meal overlooking the Charles River on Fridays at 7 pm

All are welcome and no one will be turned away.  To ensure plentiful food is available for our dinners, please sign up before Thursday at 12:00 pm. All meals are under the kosher supervision of the KVH Vaad of Boston. No meal plan is required, just sign-up!

 Please contact Rabbi Elie Lehmann at with any questions or concerns.

Spirituality and Prayer

We have many opportunities throughout the week for students and community members to grow spiritually with community. Everyone is welcome and please come as you are.

Our tefillah (prayer) services are open to everyone! Orthodox, Conservative and Reform services are held simultaneously on Friday nights at 6pm. All services are filled with energy and singing, and held on the fourth floor of Hillel. On weeks where we have Friday Night Lights, concurrent with our services, many students gather for Big Questions conversations where space is made for everyone’s voice. These conversations are led by peers, staff and special guests.

Shabbat morning services begin at 10:00am on varying weeks. Be in touch with Rabbi Elie ( to know when these are taking place for all denominations.

Not sure which service you’d like to attend? Learn more about BU Hillel’s religious communities below.

Religious Communities

Reform Community

The Reform Community at BU is affiliated with the Union for Reform Judaism. We hold services for Shabbat and holidays, along with social justice events, and times to just hang out and get to know each other!IMG_9586

Our dynamic services provide a sense of community and celebration through music and minyan participation. Prayers and songs during services are largely in Hebrew (transliterations are provided) and also include responsive readings that can be found in our siddur, Mishkan T’filah.  Song melodies and prayer choices may be centered on a theme, anything from a particular musician to favorite childhood songs.  Prayer services will sometimes be accompanied by an instrument, creating a lively musical environment. We also host several social action, educational, and social events that are open to the entire BU community.  The aim of the Reform Minyan is to be an accepting community that is open to all.

For more information, visit the group’s Facebook page, or contact Rabbinic Intern, Justin Held (

Conservative Community

The Conservative Minyan at Boston University Hillel is a traditional egalitarian prayer group.  We have Friday night services every Shabbat as well as services for all of the Jewish holidays.  These services are conducted in mostly Hebrew with some English using Siddur Sim Shalom (Hebrew, English) and Siddur Hadash’s (Hebrew, English, Transliteration) books according to the participant’s preference.  

We hope to create an inclusive and engaging community environment in which everyone is welcome to share and strengthen their religious experiences. Try leading a service, bring in a new tune, come to fun events, and share your smiles!  

We offer students opportunities to learn how to lead a service, to bring in and teach a new tune, to read Torah and/or Haftorah, and to give a D’var Torah.  

For more information, visit the group’s Facebook page, or contact Rabbinic Intern, Gita Karasov (

Orthodox Minyan Group

11058645_427043007494613_5531175253539933552_oThe Orthodox Minyan Group (OMG) at Boston University is a very diverse community and has members from both Sephardic and Ashkenazic backgrounds. The student-led group runs weekly Shabbat services as well as holiday services, Shabbat meals, and Jewish learning opportunities. Some include Kabbalat Shabbat on Friday nights, Havdalah, and a semi-annual Shabbat potluck.

        In addition to religious opportunities, OMG offers a wide
        range of social events, such as breakfast and ice skating,
        apple picking, and March Madness tournaments.
For more information on how to build community with other students in the BU Orthodox community, visit the group’s facebook page or contact us at or President Miriam Yifrach, We look forward to getting to know you!


BU Hillel also offers a full array of Holiday services, meals and programming. 

Come back and visit our website in the weeks before each holiday for an up-to-date schedule fun and meaningful celebrations.


For more information about Shabbat, holidays and religious life at BU Hillel, please contact:

Rabbi Elie Lehmann, Campus Rabbi & Senior Jewish Educator,