Mizrachi OU-JLIC in Herzliya, launched in 2017 as the first JLIC campus in Israel, is a thriving community of students, young professionals, lone soldiers and new olim. Our community is made up of hundreds of people from many countries around the world. Undergraduate and graduate students study at Reichman University, as well as Tel Aviv University, Bar Ilan University and other schools while living in Herzliya. Many young professionals in the community work in Tel Aviv or in the Herzliya commercial district. Lone soldiers often make Herzliya their home during the army, and others make Herzliya their first landing spot after aliyah or the army, and this makes the community vibrant and diverse.
Mizrachi OU-JLIC runs daily programming, including tefilla, learning opportunities, a vibrant Shabbat atmosphere and social events. Many see the community as central to their lives as they are building a home in Israel or living far away from home.
Living in Herzliya
Herzliya is a beautiful, clean city with parks, beaches, shopping, cultural activities and good public transportation. For Reichman University students, there are new dorms on campus that are single occupancy and shomer shabbat students are given lower floors. Many also live a 10-20 minute walk off campus near the shops and more central Herzliya locations. Students who live off campus have the ability to host big shabbat meals and communal events.
Kosher Food – on and off campus
It is the university’s policy that all food sold in the cafeterias on campus and served at events must be certified kosher. The cafeteria on campus is certified under the Rabbanut of Herzliya and has separate sides serving dairy and meat options. Several other buildings on campus have mini cafeterias as well. There are also many kosher restaurants in Herzliya itself, especially on the Sokolov Street, the main commercial thoroughfare in central Herzliya.
Daily morning minyan takes place at Gissin Street 6, our off-campus shul location. Occasionally there is a minyan in the Reichman University dorms as well. Mincha takes place on campus at 15:18, in between class breaks. Ma’ariv takes place back at Gissin Street 6 at 19:45, often followed by a program or shiur at night. Friday night tefillah is on campus and attracts a crowd of 150-200 or more weekly. Shabbat day tefillot are at our off-campus shul location.
Our weekly learning program is vibrant and varied. Community members and the JLIC directors teach classes weekly. LunchNLearns take place at Reichman University, with pizza and drinks sponsored by Raphael Recanati International School, two or three times a week. Nighttime classes take place at our community shul location in central Herzliya, a ten minute walk from campus. Highlights include a twice-monthly guest speaker series; “OpenL,” our weekly Open Beit Midrash program; and rotating shiurim in Gemara, Tanakh and Jewish law and thought.
Shabbat in Herzliya is the highlight of the week. Friday night tefillah is on campus in the Ivcher auditorium and attracts 150-200 or more people weekly. Students and community members hosts meals in their apartments in central Herzliya and the Mizrachi OU-JLIC Hospitality committee makes sure everyone who needs a Shabbat meal is set up with one. Shabbat morning tefillah is at our off-campus shul with a weekly kiddush. During the longer Shabbatot of the year, Shabbat ends off with another highlight event – seudah shlishit, with singing or a shiur and then a musical Havdalah.
Social events provide regular opportunities for people to form connections with others in the community while enjoying a break or an activity. Highlights have included the annual Challah Bake in honor of The Shabbat Project, Tu B’Shvat Paint Night, Melave Malka game night, Soup and Sefarim Sale, and the Gissin Library (a place for study groups to meet – and snack and socialize – during finals crunch time).
Chessed opportunities and events also bring us together. On a monthly basis, a group visits the Leket Logistics Center nearby to sort fruits and vegetables to be given to the needy. Blood drives, clothing drives and visits to the elderly are also chances for us to bring our shared values of chessed and communal involvement to the center of our community.
Many of the chagim are celebrated together as a community. Rosh Hashana, Yom Kippur and Sukkot fall out before the school year starts, yet there are tefillot, programs and meals for those who are already settled in to Herzliya. Examples include Rosh Hashana meals, Yom Kippur tefillot on campus for over 100 people, Pizza in the Hut and an Elul Teshuva workshop. On Chanukah, we have celebrations such as Melave Latke Open Mic Night, a Chanukah carnival, communal lightings and more. On Purim, we have megillah readings and seudot. On Shavuot we celebrate the central place Torah has in our personal and communal lives with all night chaburot. In advance of many of the chagim, we have opportunities to visit elderly people and Holocaust survivors living in Herzliya to make a connection and bring a gift for the chag.
Finally, in the Spring we commemorate Yom Hazikaron together, which is especially powerful for a community of people living in Israel, many of whom are olim and serve or have served in the army or sherut leumi. And on Yom Ha’atzmaut we connect deeply as a community once again through singing and celebration.
The community began as a grassroots effort where several students noticed a desperate need for revitalized Jewish life on campus. Since then, the beating heart of the community continues to be idealistic and dedicated student and community member leaders!
Currently students and community members run committees including Shabbat, hospitality, learning, chagim and events, and JLIC Netzach (our communal branch for young professionals and post-grads).
JLIC Netzach – for young professionals and post-graduates
As many students choose to stay in Herzliya after graduation, and others coming after college abroad join them on the young professional scene in Israel, JLIC Netzach has become an important sub-group of post-graduates within the greater community. While everyone is welcome at Shabbat and Chaggim tefillot and events on campus, Netzach provides a chance for people to find their niche with like-minded individuals who are in a different stage of life and often on a different schedule. In addition to being core participants in the broader JLIC Herzliya community, JLIC Netzach hosts its own social gatherings and communal Shabbat meals to foster a sense of community within post-grad demographic.