The Hillel Elul Experience

Schedule of Weekly Learning

Tuesday, August 25 - 5:00 - 6:30 p.m.

 “Confronting the Inner Adversary”
Create Lasting Change Through Jewish Ethics and Science

Rabbi Aaron Lerner


Tuesday, September 1 - 5:00 - 6:30 p.m.

“Cultivating and Practicing Loving-Kindness” 

Rabbi Aaron Lerner


Tuesday, September 8 - 5:00 - 6:30 p.m.

“Who Shall Live and Who Shall Die?”
What Can the Liturgy of the Days of Awe Mean to a Contemporary Religious Rationalist?

Rabbi Chaim Seidler-Feller


Tuesday, September 15 - 5:00 - 6:30 p.m.

“But Where is the Lamb for the Offering?”
Silence of the Lamb-The Akedah (Binding of Isaac) Dilemma: Between Submission and Resistance

Rabbi Chaim Seidler-Feller


Tuesday, September 22 - 5:00 - 6:30 p.m.

“There Were No Days of Joy in Israel Greater than the 15th of Av and Yom Kippur”
The Dance of the Maidens: Intimacy and Love on the Day of Atonement

Rabbi Chaim Seidler-Feller


Thursday, September 24 - 5:00 - 6:30 p.m.

“All You Can Eat Buffet?”
Why We Prepare for Yom Kippur Physically, and Spiritually

Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan


Tuesday, September 29 - 5:00 - 6:30 p.m.

“‘Tzedek, Tzedek, Tirdof’ in Context” 
What Jewish Tradition Means When It Implores Us to Pursue Justice

Rabbi Alex Kress


Tuesday, October 6 - 5:00 - 6:30 p.m.

“My Own Power and the Might of My Hand Have Produced All this Wealth for Me”
The Sukkah of Exile: Desert Dwelling at Harvest Time
(Exile: The Secret of Jewish Survival)

Rabbi Chaim Seidler-Feller


About the Rabbis

Rabbi Aaron Lerner, Hillel’s Executive Director, embodies a pluralistic and inclusive approach to Jewish life, having originated from an intermarried family and later receiving rabbinic ordination by Yeshivat Chovevei Torah. Before the rabbinate, he graduated from USC’s Marshall School of Business and spent more than a decade in commercial real estate finance. Now, Rabbi Aaron is entering his eighth year at Hillel at UCLA. Combining an entrepreneurial spirit with a deep appreciation for Jewish tradition, Rabbi Aaron’s leadership has seen Hillel innovate and scale some of the most effective Jewish identity building and pro-Israel programs in the country. You’re invited to partake as Rabbi Aaron leads the service he has become known for: religiously engaging, spiritually fulfilling, and focused on integrating Jewish wisdom into modern day life.





Rabbi Chaim Seidler-Feller, was Executive Director of the Hillel Center for Jewish Life at UCLA for 40 years. He was ordained in 1971 at Yeshiva University where he completed a Masters in Rabbinic Literature. The International Hillel Center granted Chaim the Hillel Professional Recognition Award “for blending the love of Jewish tradition with the modern intellectual approach of the university.” Fun fact - Chaim was a rabbinic consultant to Barbra Streisand during the making of the film Yentl.








Rabbi Alex Kress is Hillel at UCLA’s inaugural Peter J. Rubinstein Reform Senior Jewish Educator. Ordained in 2017 from HUC-JIR in Los Angeles, Rabbi Alex Kress is passionate about innovating Jewish practice and making Judaism fun and meaningful. After serving two years at a synagogue on Long Island, Rabbi Kress and his family have returned to LA to join the Bruin family. No matter your background, Rabbi Kress looks forward to exploring Judaism, repairing the world, and dreaming what the future can be together. 






RABBI ARYEH KAPLAN & SHARONA KAPLAN, MSW have represented the Orthodox Union Jewish Learning Initiative on Campus (OU-JLIC) at Hillel at UCLA for the past seventeen years. OU-JLIC and Hillel’s national partnership places an Orthodox, Rabbinic couple on select campuses to serve as Torah educators and mentors for Jewish students. Bringing with them expansive experience in Jewish education, programming, community building and engagement, the Kaplans’ warmth and passion inspire students and community members alike.






For more information, please contact Gisele Haykin, Director of Community Philanthropy, at [email protected].


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