SHABBaT &holidays


From Rosh Hashanah to Yom Kippur, Purim to Passover, and much more in between, all are welcome to celebrate the holidays with UF Hillel.


Thanks to UF Hillel's generous donors, holiday meals, including our weekly Shabbat dinner, are free of charge. Students, their families, alumni, friends, and the Gainesville community are always welcome.


The essence of Shabbat is to take time to rejuvenate from the busyness of the week. In this time of great uncertainty and stress, Shabbat remains the steady constant we can look forward to each week, no matter where, how, or with whom it is celebrated.

Beginning Friday, August 28th, UF Hillel will host a weekly Friday Night Experience. Advance RSVPs for dinner are now REQUIRED and must be received by Wednesday at 12 PM each week.

In the wake of COVID-19, our in-person Shabbat experience has been modified to ensure students can gather safely. Here's what you can expect on Friday night at UF Hillel:

                    Community Candlelighting, followed by Worship Experiences 

                    Kosher Dinner catered by Israeli chef, Gili Ben Simon, of Gili's Kitchen

  • All activities, including dinner, will take place outside under our new 1,200 square foot event tent and in other outdoor spaces

  • Our greeters will welcome you at our outdoor check-in booth, where you'll sign in on your own phone using a QR code, have your temperature taken, and answer COVID-19 screening questions

  • You'll be required to wear a mask or face covering at all times, unless actively eating  

  • Two new student-led worship experiences to chose from:

    1. ​Traditional spoken prayerbook service led by Masorti (no singing or chanting to reduce the potential for COVID-19 transmission)

    2. Reflection activity and discussion based on the week's Torah portion and guided meditation

  • Dinner will be served by designated staff

  • To-go boxes will be readily available so you can take your food home if your prefer not to eat in a group setting

  • Hand sanitizing stations placed throughout the facility, including the outdoor spaces

  • UF Hillel professional staff monitoring adherence to COVID-19 procedures, including mask wearing and social distancing

If you are interested in helping to plan an upcoming service or have ideas for alternative Shabbat experiences, please contact Marya Slade at

2020 High Holidays

UF Hillel will be offering in-person and virtual holiday opportunities this year. Staff and student leaders are busy planning safe and meaningful experiences. Details will be posted soon. If you'd like to get involved in our planning, please contact Rabbi Jonah at  

UF Hillel

Norman H. Lipoff Hall / 2020 W University Ave / Gainesville, FL 32603 / 352.372.2900

With funding support from

Copyright UF Hillel 2020