The UW Hillel Foundation provides a home for more than 4,000 Jewish students attending the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Hillel is a pluralistic organization supporting all of the Jewish movements as authentic expressions of Jewish Life.
Hillel engages students, cultivates a Jewish community, develops leaders, complements the classroom, and embodies Jewish values.
Hillel is an independent, nonprofit 501(c)3 that partners with the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
The Hillel Foundation at the University of Wisconsin, Inc. (UW Hillel) is the second oldest Hillel Foundation in the world, founded in 1924, immediately after the Hillel at the University of Illinois. UW Hillel is an independent non-profit organization with an independent board of directors. The Board and its Executive Director are solely responsible for the policies and practices of the UW Hillel.
UW Hillel reflects ninety years of committed service to Jewish life at the UW as represented by the varied interests and experiences of the Jewish students, the faculty and staff of the University of Wisconsin and the ideals that make the university, the city of Madison, and State of Wisconsin an important and great place. While we are part of the larger international Hillel system, we are independent, have always been, and will continue to be so. We hold our mission, our independence, and our self-governance to be sacrosanct.
We recognize our unique role with our many Jewish communal partners, including but not limited to, the Jewish Federation of Madison, the Milwaukee Jewish Federation and Hillel International.
UW Hillel sets its own policies based on our values, our community, and its traditions. In doing so, we take the history, culture and teachings of our community to heart. As we do, we also affirm our role and commitment to Jewish life and Judaism, in its totality, and to the idea of life in the Academy of higher learning as guideposts for our work.
Our commitment to our mission and independent governance holds true as we take to heart the inclusive message of our namesake and the deep commitments to intellectual discourse at the university, perhaps most recognized by the Wisconsin Tradition of “Sifting and Winnowing” and the Jewish concept sheilot v tshuvot or “questions and answers.”
Our commitment to Jewish student life is deep and strong. Our concern for students and the development of their identity, intellect, and spirit are held at the highest regard.