Since 1951, Purdue Hillel has been designed to feel like a home with a 4100 sq. foot facility that has a full service kosher kitchen, dining room, sanctuary/multi-purpose room, computer/study room, TV room/library, and 3 administrative offices. We celebrate Shabbat and have Friday night dinners while school is in session. We offer programs, lectures, classes, and social events. The building is open during the day for student use.
We have over 600 Jewish students on campus, a large number of Jewish faculty, Jewish administrators, a strong Jewish Studies program, a strong Hebrew program (conversational and biblical), and a large, established Jewish community. There is an active chapter of the AEPi fraternity, ZBT fraternity, and Sigma Delta Tau sorority.
There is a Temple (Temple Israel-Reform) in West Lafayette, and a Shul (Sons of Abraham-Conservative) in Lafayette. Although we celebrate all other major holidays at Hillel, when the High Holy Days occur on weekends, our students are invited to the Temple and the Shul. This is because so many of our students go home for Services when the Holidays are on weekends. When the holidays fall during the week, we have services at Hillel. We always have our own Kol Nidrei Service each year at Hillel, no matter when the holidays occur.
About Our Staff
Melissa Frey brings an impressive background of ethical leadership development and innovative engagement strategies, with a particular focus on Jewish GenZ. Most significantly, Ms. Frey served as the Director of URJ (Union for Reform Judaism) Kutz Camp in Warwick, New York for twelve years. During that time, Ms. Frey was responsible for the oversight of an American Camp Association (ACA) accredited residential camp that included a dynamic summer leadership program for highly engaged teens, a mainstreamed program for Jewish teens with Autism, and a seasonal retreat business that fostered Jewish community and identity.
Throughout her experiences over the past two decades working in formal and informal Jewish education, Melissa has amassed a track record of building transformative leadership development curricula and deep and intentional Jewish communities. The communities nurtured under her leadership have propelled many of the brightest Jewish talent into meaningful professional and lay leadership roles in the Jewish and secular world. Reflecting upon those experiences, Ms. Frey notes, “I am most proud of the opportunities I created for college-age staff members to take on substantial leadership roles beyond what they could have imagined. Delivering on the variety of supports they needed, so they could shine and exceed their own expectations, made every day a gift. I can’t think of another place I would want to continue this kind of holy and impactful work other than at Purdue Hillel.”
I was born and raised in Evansville, Indiana, about 200 miles south of Purdue. I am finishing a degree in Electrical Engineering Technology and hope to pursue a second in Electrical Engineering. I heard about Hillel when one of my friends told me that Philip offered free coffee once a week in the Union. As I continued to attend coffee with Philip, I was exposed to more and more of the Jewish lifestyle and its philosophies. This sparked my curiosity, and I began to learn as much as I could. I started attending other Hillel events and Friday night dinners. I was blown away by Hillel’s hospitality and the feeling of family that I experienced during my visits. Because of my involvement with the setup and cleanup of events, I was offered the Host position for the summer of 2016 to fill a gap between Hosts. Then, when the previous Host graduated and found a job out of state I was offered the position full time. Through this position, I hope to maintain the feeling of hospitality that first impressed me years ago.
Director: Melissa Frey– Email
Host: Danny Krause
Hillel Student Board (HSB)
President: Ethan Hirsh – Email
Vice President: Jonah Ross – Email
Treasurer: Talia Hirsch – Email
Secretary: Isabel Reynolds – Email
Technology and Public Relations Chair: Alaina Bartfeld – Email
Religious Chair: Raphael Rose – Email
FYSH Chair: Talia Hirsh – Email
Social Media Chair: Emily Sullins – Email
Tzedek Chair: Remy Carrella – Email
Social Chair: Ace Rounds – Email
Special Advisor: Solomon Blinchevsky – Email
Robert Ringle z”l
Leo Weitzman z”l