Hillel Montreal, an integral component of Federation CJA’s GenMTL Department, is active on CEGEP and University Campuses with a sizeable Jewish student community. Hillel’s Mission is to enrich the lives of Jewish students through meaningful points of engagement, with an optic to inspire students to strengthen their commitment to Jewish life and the Jewish community in Montreal. Activities and services are aligned with communal priorities, namely: Ccommunity engagement, strengthening of Jewish identity, volunteerism, the development of future leaders and commitment to Israel. Hillel is an active participant in the recruitment of national and international programs such as Birthright and Masa, hence creating opportunities for students to engage with Israel in a profound and meaningful way. Hillel is committed to providing the necessary support and resources to enable grassroots, student inspired and led initiatives. Hillel Montreal is also committed to building bridges with other student groups, across the religious- cultural spectrum to find common ground on issues of shared concern.
The B’nai Brith Hillel Foundation was established in 1944, in the final months of WWII, to provide a variety of services to Jewish University students. With the end of WWII and the demobilization of Jewish war veterans, there is an influx of Jewish students in universities. In 1945, the Foundation purchased a house at 3460 Stanley, which became the Hillel House in 2000 named in honour of Jack Reitman. By 1946, the Bnai Brith Hillel Foundation becomes a beneficiary of the Combined Appeal, benefitting from funds raised during the annual campaign.
In 1972, in response to the growing number of French speaking students at the Université de Montréal and the Université du Québec à Montreal, Centre Hillel was opened on rue Gatineau, walking distance from the UdeMTL.