2021 Impact Report

Hillel Banner Rainbow Students

Our Mission is to be the home away from home at UCLA for all Jewish students to build their identities through Jewish life, learning, and Israel.




Impact by the Numbers


Financials Animation

Program Summary

Innovation as an Orientation 

Pandemic Response 

Paragraph about innovation and adaption. Institutional orientation, especially served us in the pandemic.….. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt.  Innovation Young Adults Image

Entrepreneurial Spirit

Student leaders are trained and empowered to plan, produce and execute programs/digital communication campaigns to scale for national impact. Hillel’s foundation is built on developing and sustaining an entrepreneurial mindset which promotes adaptation and innovation to support ongoing relevance among an ever evolving student population.

Programs Include

Campus Engagement Interns (CEI) and the Senior Jewish Educator (SJE) revolutionized Hillel’s practice for student engagement, moving into a peer-to-peer model which enabled exponentially more interactions with students - UCLA Hillel invented, piloted and national scaled this initiative in tandem with Hillel International and the Jim Joseph Foundation.  Also innovated at UCLA Hillel, the Fact Finding Mission which is now on 100 campuses, the International Coexistence Contest (promoting interfaith and coalition building which will be running for its third year in 2022 and which engaged competitors from 16 campuses), and the #ChooseLove and #WeTheZionists digital media campaigns which were deployed to 50+ campuses.


Grad Cheers Image

Connect UCLA students to Judaism through celebration of Jewish holidays and ritual observation.  Hillel is fundamentally pluralist in our articulation of Judaism meaning people relating to all denominations and people with vast to zero past Jewish experience are radically welcomed and included.

Programs Include

Meals, learning and community convening for every holiday, free + Kosher (and often themed) Shabbat dinners at Hillel for 100-200 students, camp-style Shabbat services.  Holiday programming is planned by staff and students in partnership, and Hillel staff is composed of 2-3 rabbis in any given year.  There is a Shabbat/Holidays/Rituals chair on the Student Board, as well, in most years.

Grad Shabbot Image

Israel Affinity

Hillel is the nucleus at UCLA for influencing campus climate as it relates to Israel.  More than 400 students are directly (and 350 more indirectly) engaged in programs that bring people closer to Israel through exploration of dual narrative, culture, travel, advocacy training, lobbying, language and learning.  We are the trusted source for pluralistic Israel engagement on campus, housing 35+ groups including Bruins for Israel and the Bruin Israel Public Affairs Committee.

Programs Include

Israel Learning Fellowships, celebrations on campus and at Hillel for Yom Ha’atzmaut, two Birthright trips/year, Fact Finding Journey (the interfaith leadership development trip to Israel), annual interfaith and multicultural collaborative programs to build positive attitudes toward Israel on campus,  Achy Breaky Heart (raising funds for an organization in Israel), sending the largest delegation of students to Israel’s Policy Conference, Hebrew conversational hour, advocacy training - and all programs are run in coordination with student leaders and Hillel’s full time Israel Fellow (a professional who works at Hillel via a partnership with the Jewish Agency.)


Hillel invests in the development of leaders whose skill sets can be practiced/refined on campus (often even in Student Government and in campus clubs) and applied post-graduation in one’s career and in lay leadership.  Student driven, staff supported programs maintain relevance and respond to immediate campus climate needs.

Leadership Image

Programs Include

Student Board, Freshman Leadership Council, Senior Seminar, students serving on Hillel’s lay Board of Directors, Engagement Interns, Leadership of micro-communities such as Bearing Witness and Social Justice efforts, skills development sessions, one-to-one mentorship (lay-leader to student, staff-to-student, peer-to-peer), Transfer Undergraduate Students at Hillel, Mr. Hillel annual student-led Purim fundraiser

Mental Health

The number of UCLA students reporting loneliness, anxiety, and depression has spiked significantly over the past five years and has increased as a result of the pandemic. Guided by research and professional healthcare advisors, Hillel integrates mental health support into virtually all of our student programs,  explicitly addressing physical health (exercise, sleep, nutrition); mental health (addiction, anxiety, mindfulness, depression, distortion); executive functioning; adulting; and intimacy and sexuality (consent, safety, vulnerability.)

Programs Include

In partnership with other established Jewish institutions, we will provide 32 hours per week available for students to meet with a licensed professional. The Wellness priority is represented by a Wellness Chair on our Student Board. We provide free meals to students experiencing food insecurity (hunger), students can access training to improve peer counseling capacity and ability to make referrals, staff are afforded flexibility and financial resources to support pursuit of therapy and wellness, 75+ wellness-focused programs occur per year including exercise, time outdoors, wellness learning fellowships, and pastoral care.

Mental Health Image

Arts & Culture

Dortort Center for Creativity in the Arts

The Dortort Center for Creativity in the Arts weaves art and culture into the Hillel experience for UCLA students and community members. Boasting five gallery spaces at 574 Hilgard Avenue, intentional and thought provoking art and creative collaborations contributes to a holistic sense of Jewish pride and curiosity.

Programs Include

Annual Student Fine Arts Show, Annual Student Photography Contest, two or more multi-gallery art openings per year, lectures presented by the Rabbi Chaim Seidler-Feller Institute for Jewish Learning (a subset of the Dortort Center), collaborations with the Fowler Museum and other local museums and performance arts companies, online and in-person events, permanent art installations at 574 Hilgard Avenue, mentorship for students including opportunities to curate shows and learn alongside established artists.

Meet Rabbi Aaron Lerner

Hillel involvement is the greatest predictor of whether or not emerging adults will participate in Jewish life and leadership in their 20s and 30s.

- Rabbi Aaron Lerner, Executive Director

Hillel by the Numbers

Long Range Impact

“Hillel attracts the most talented and driven Jewish students and serves as a hub of learning, social connection, and worship. The diverse programs I participated in gave me the tools to run for student government, and my Hillel family became my biggest support as I was elected Student Body President of UCLA. I am forever grateful for the values learned from and the doors opened by this community, which have guided my entire professional life thereafter.”

- David Bocarsly, Class of 2013 | Jewish Civic Leader

“My time at Hillel helped me to understand that changing the world didn't have to be one part of my Jewish identity, it could be the entire bedrock of it. Time I spend fighting inequality is time spent being Jewish. I learned that if you see something missing in your community, it may be up to you to build it. So, when I began to launch Swipe Out Hunger during undergrad, Hillel offered me encouragement, guidance and resources that I needed - from help printing posters to bridging meaningful connections with community organizations. I am also grateful to have benefited from a strong, familial community through the Persian Community at Hillel within the greater framework of support and Jewish life that Hillel offers.”

Rachel Sumekh, UCLA Class of 2012 | Hillel Alumni Student Leader

Planned and endowed gifts help ensure Hillel’s presence for years to come.

To learn all about the Hillel Forever society, click here to visit our Legacy Webpage. 



Meet Some Members of the Hillel Forever Legacy Society

New section probably to come soon. Work with Gisele to add/style this content when needed.

Donor Honor Roll

$1000 & Up >>

$500 & Up >>

Venue Rental and Catering


The Hillel Center for Jewish Life at UCLA was officially dedicated in 2002. The 25,000 square foot building is a dynamically designed home away from home for thousands of Jewish and non-Jewish young adults currently enrolled at UCLA - a place where students socialize and share Jewish learning, celebrations and programs. The Grade A, multi-use building has a dedicated staff and state-of-the-art amenities (such as Wi-Fi access, a full-service/kosher-certified in-house caterer and a large Coffee Bean Bar & Lounge). We can comfortably accommodate functions of diverse size and style - such as a weekly book club for 12, dinner and dancing for 150 or a public lecture and cocktail reception for 300.

Hillel Center for Jewish Life at UCLA
574 Hilgard Avenue | Los Angeles, California 90024 | 310-208-3081 | www.uclahillel.org

Learn More


Kosher Catering for the Community

Gourmet Glatt Kosher

Website: ourkoshertable.com
 (818) 400-4655

Email: [email protected]

Who We Are


Rabbi Aaron Lerner, Executive Director
David Berman, Chief Operating Officer
Rachael Petru, Director of Philanthropic Partnerships
Perla Karney, Artistic Director
Rabbi Chaim Seidler-Feller, Director Emeritus


Rabbi Tarlan Rabizadeh, Simha and Sara Lainer Senior Jewish Educator & Director of Student Life
Rabbi Aryeh and Sharona KaplanJewish Learning Initiative on Campus
Molly Auerbach, Springboard Innovation Fellow
Maili Lampe, Springboard Social Justice Fellow
Navee Cohen, Israel Fellow 


Gisele Goldwater-Feldman, Director of Community Philanthropy
Mor S. Gedalia Pesachov, Associate Director of Philanthropy
Carrie Cook, Donor Services Associate


Adrian Villegas, Facilities Associate
Michael Wilson, Facilities Assistant


Julie Monkarsh Gadinsky, President
Arnold Anisgarten
Elliot Berdy*
Alan Berro
Aaron  Boudaie*
Ziva Cooper
Phyllis Colman
Lauren Eber
Sandy Einberg
Michael Farahnik
Assemblymember Jesse Gabriel
Stephen Gingold
Binat Gousinov*
Alan Hiller
Naomi Hochman
Tamara Horwich, M.D.
Joan Kessler
Professor Russell Korobkin
Gabrielle Lasry*
Robin Nourmand
Frank Ponder
Ben Robinow*
Dorothy Salkin
Richard Slavin
Sasha Strauss
Eric Sussman
Daniel Tenenblatt
Bob Wolfe
Moryel Yashar*

*Student Director


David Henry Simon, Chair
Mayim Bialik
Sandy and Robert Carroll
Phyllis and Philip Colman
David Dortort (z"l)
Sandy and Howard Einberg
Julie Monkarsh Gadinsky
Elaine and David Gill
Carole Goldberg
Roz and Abner Goldstine
William Isacoff, M.D.
Mark Lainer
Judith and Louis (z"l) Miller
Sepideh and Robin Nourmand
Frank Ponder
Dorothy and Avram Salkin
William and Anna Tenenblatt
Caryn and Alan Viterbi
Marilyn Ziering

Connect With Us

574 Hilgard Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90024
EIN #46-0573247


For More Information, please contact:
Rachael Petru, Director of Philanthropic Partnerships
(310) 926-5045 [email protected]

Get Social with Hillel