Student Groups & Religious Communities

As a pluralistic community, Columbia/Barnard Hillel is the home to many different student groups and religious communities. Whether they engage in educational programming, religious services, performing arts, acts of social justice, or dialogue around Israel, each of the student groups and religious communities listed below represents one stripe on our broader pluralistic spectrum.

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Religious Communities



Kesher is an intentionally inclusive Reform Jewish community that connects and fosters friendships between students with a wide spectrum of Jewish practices, beliefs, and experiences. Kesher empowers the members of its community to engage with, celebrate, and deepen their connection to Judaism through song, food, prayer, learning, and laughter. We strive to support each other and provide a warm, accessible, and welcoming space for exploration and growth. 
Kesher hosts weekly Shabbat services as well as various social and educational programs. We would love to see you there! Check out @kesheratcolumbia for updates and more information.


Koach is the Traditional-Egalitarian community that serves Conservative Jewish students of Columbia, Barnard, and JTS. All are welcome to join us for weekly Shabbat Services (and Saturday morning lunch!), social gatherings both in and out of Hillel, and our varied educational opportunities. Koach is an exciting, innovative community that is committed to reaching all students regardless of experience.



Yavneh, the Orthodox student community on campus, aims to provide a home for students on campus looking for a welcoming and committed Orthodox community by infusing Modern Orthodox values into our social, educational, chessed, and religious programming.

Educational Groups



TAMID Group at Columbia develops the professional skills of undergraduate students through hands-on interaction with the Israeli economy. Our members take part in a comprehensive education curriculum, pro-bono consulting for Israeli startups, capital market investment research, and a summer internship program in Israel.


Wednesday Night Learning Program

Wednesday Night Learning Program (WNLP) is a weekly program that serves as a space for students to learn Jewish texts in an informal, unstructured setting in pairs, in groups, or on their own, regardless of background, comfort level, or ability.



Nefesh, Columbia/Barnard Hillel’s Mental Health Awareness group seeks to create a dialogue about mental health in the Jewish community and beyond through programming on the topics of mental illness, stress, stigma, and other mental health issues.



Yiddish Club

The Columbia-Barnard Yiddish Club is an open space for students studying, interested in, or curious about Yiddish language and culture. We are committed to building a pluralistic community centering diasporic identities. All backgrounds are welcome to join; no knowledge of Yiddish necessary.


Identity-Based Groups



JQ is the Jewish/LGBTQ+ community affiliated with Hillel. We are proud to offer monthly social gatherings and a safe space for students who share these identities students to connect with each other. JQ also collaborates with other campus groups (both religious and secular) to engage everyone in understanding the intersection of Judaism and gender/sexual identity.




JOC/SM is an affinity space for self-identifying Jews of Color and Sephardi/Mizrachi students. JOC/SM provides opportunities for connection, leadership, and education through its variety of programming aimed to make a difference in the diversity, equity, and inclusion of Columbia/Barnard’s Jewish community. Additionally, JOC/SM provides a space for Jews of Color and Sephardi/Mizrachi students to explore their intersectional identities as well as their individual cultural and racial backgrounds in a safe, judgment-free environment.


Israel Groups



Aryeh is Columbia University’s pro-Israel public affairs committee that aims to engage the campus community about Israel by providing Columbia students with diverse opportunities to connect with Israel including cultural, academic, political, and philanthropic programming.


J Street CU

J Street CU is part of a student-driven network of Pro-Israel, Pro-Palestine, Pro-peace activists organizing on campuses across North America for peace, security and social justice in Israel, the future state of Palestine and across the Middle East.


Social Justice & Community Service Groups


Challah for Hunger

Challah for Hunger is a national student organization that raises money and awareness for hunger-relief through the production and sale of challah. The club meets to bake challah bi-weekly, and holds several educational activities a semester.




The purpose of Sharsheret at Columbia/Barnard Hillel is to raise awareness about breast and ovarian cancer and their prevalence within the Jewish community on campus. We hope to encourage students to learn about their medical history and ask their doctors questions and, if necessary, empower them to take preventive measures.



Hillel Sustainability & Climate Action

Hillel Sustainability & Climate Action is Columbia/Barnard Hillel’s environmental action group. Named in memory of GS/JTS student Hannah Weiss, the group seeks to continue her legacy of sustainability by planning programming, events, and policies to make Hillel and the broader CB community greener. 


Performance Groups



Pizmon, the co-ed, pluralistic Jewish a cappella group of Columbia, Barnard, and JTS, is a non-profit organization that uses Jewish music to connect to and inspire communities around the globe through both domestic and international travel throughout the academic year.




Iggrot Ha’Ari

Iggrot Ha’Ari is an open-access, undergraduate research-based journal that publishes interdisciplinary articles related to Jewish scholarship and religious thought. Iggrot Ha’Ari translates to “The Lion’s Letters”— “lion” reflects Columbia University’s mascot, Roar-ree, while “letters” refers to the rabbinic tradition of Responsa. Together under advisory from the Institute for Israel and Jewish Studies, Iggrot Ha’Ari aims to promote Jewish knowledge and to provide students with the ability to academically master topics relevant to their own religious identity. Iggrot Ha’Ari hopes to provide readers with opportunities to create networks of scholars among authors and editors and foster relationships founded on Jewish scholarship.


Planning an event? Student Leader Resources can be found here!