Columbia/Barnard Hillel is guided by a vision and a set of core values that have emerged over the years of our history:

Our Mission

Columbia/Barnard Hillel is the catalyst for students to explore and consciously define their Jewish identity.

Our quest is to help students, regardless of their origin or destination, find their own interpretation of Jewish values, culture, community and religion by empowering them to explore, learn, and grow intellectually, spiritually and socially.  By encouraging exploration in warm and accepting environments, we invite self-reflection and open dialogue so each student can discover their own path to integrate being Jewish into their life choices and expressions.

While our mission is constant, our methods are defined only by the limits of our community’s imagination.  We create experiences and communities focused on social, cultural and educational programs, social action, Israel, and religious life. We draw upon the rigorous and intellectually-exciting environment of Columbia University and New York City.

In a world of abounding choices, we offer a captivating array of opportunities which engage students in all things Jewish– fun and thoughtful– opening the door to transformational experiences. We are passionately committed to enabling our students to meaningfully contribute to the local and global Jewish community, Columbia University, and the world-at-large.

Core Values

  • Columbia/Barnard Hillel is committed to a pluralistic vision of Judaism.
  • We promote Jewish life at Columbia and Barnard and beyond, through broad programming and a commitment to building a diverse Jewish community.
  • We provide a strong community that enriches the lives of our Jewish students and Columbia and Barnard as a whole, and that enables members of these communities to come together in a welcoming atmosphere.
  • We prepare Jewish students to be active and responsible members of the larger community and prepare them to be active and engaged members of the Jewish community after they graduate from Columbia and Barnard.
  • We provide a nurturing environment for Jewish students to grow religiously, spiritually, socially, culturally and ethically as well as in a love for Israel and, in community with other Jews, with respect for other faiths and a broad understanding of what it means to be Jewish.