Programs and Jewish Life

Santa Barbara Hillel offers a wide variety of programs to our students. These activities are planned by our student leaders to create an inspiring array of activities. Jewish values are incorporated into many of our programs. Here is a taste of what we offer our students: 

Student Programming

On any given night at Hillel, there may be a program of interest. We host everything from

cooking competitions, to dance parties, to craft nights and programs focused on our students wellness. We play intramural sports, go on hikes, and host study and snack sessions. On the Monday night of finals week we host JHOP (Jewish House of Pancakes) for a needed study break. 

Jewish Life Programming

While Judaism is infused into all we do here at Hillel, there are some activities that are specifically Jewish in nature. We celebrate Shabbat and Holidays together, bring in speakers on Jewish topics, and engage in Jewish cultural experiences. For more information about Shabbat and Jewish Holidays click here. 


Santa Barbara Hillel fosters a living connection with Israel as a key component of the Jewish identity. Students travel to Israel, participate in Israel related activities here on campus, and engage in discussions with key individuals on topics related to Israel. Want to travel with us? Click here!

Social Action

Santa Barbara Hillel students embrace the Jewish value of Tikkun Olam, repairing the world, by participating in a number of social action projects throughout the year, including everything from zoo clean ups to fundraisers for organizations helping those in need. 

Kosher Cookout

Join us on throughout the quarter for a delicious Kosher BBQ. We have hot dogs, veggie burgers, salad, chips, and sometimes special additions to the menu. 

First Year Students of Hillel (FYSH)

Engaging our first year (freshman and transfer) students is a priority at Santa Barbara Hillel. While we welcome and encourage all first years to come join us at Hillel, we also bring activities to the dorms. Keep an eye out for the next activity that Hillel is hosting in your residence hall.

Challah for  Hunger

This student group, hosted by Santa Barbara Hillel, meets weekly on Thursdays to bake challah and then to sell it to raise funds for hunger relief programs. Challah is sold outside the Isla Vista Co-op on Fridays. For more information, visit the Challah for Hunger Facebook Page.

Schmear and Schmooze

On Wednesdays from 11:30am - 1:30pm, Eliana brings bagels for schmearing and her insights for schmoozing. There are plenty of bagels and toppings for the needed mid-day pick me up. Find her on the Annex Lawn, across from Storke Tower. 

Graduate Student Programming

Graduate students are certainly a busy bunch but there is always a place for Grad students at Hillel. Grad students are welcome at all of our activities but we also plan Grad Student specific activities, including everything from Wine & Cheese to Holiday Parties. 


Keshet is a group of Jewish Queer students and allies who come together to celebrate their identities, to learn about how those identities intersect, and to socialize over fun programs. Keshet provides a unique space for Jewish students identifying, or allying with the LGBTQ+ Community. Events that Keshet has put on in the past include a Keshet Seder, Board Game Night, Jewish LGBTQ+ Lecture series, and more. To learn more about this group feel free to email them, like them on Facebook, or follow them on Instagram. 

Want to get involved with planning programs or have a question? Contact Eliana Michelson for leadership opportunities and more information. 

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Creating a Jewish Home Away From Home

Santa Barbara Hillel

781 Embarcadero Del Mar

Isla Vista, CA 93117

(805) 968-1280