We have an amazingly vibrant community at University of Maryland, thanks to the unmatched number of religious students living on campus. We have 5-6 minyanim every day (2 shacharit, 2 maariv, and 1-2 mincha), and a plentitude of daily learning opportunities.
Although freshman are not required to live in University dorms, the large majority do. Most upperclassmen live in apartments right next to campus with kitchens. The University does consider roommate requests, so even if you don't know someone going into college, you can find yourself a roommate through Hillel's roommate matching site and the Kedma Facebook group.
The University gives priority housing on North Hill (the closest dorms on campus to Hillel) to students on the Kosher meal plan when requested. As well, there are over 14 apartment complexes in the eruv, with Domain being the closest to Hillel.
Freshmen are typically on Hillel's full kosher meal plan (it's great!) while upperclassmen often get partial meal plans from Hillel to supplement their apartment's kitchen.
As well, the UMD campus is located 20 minutes from kosher supermarkets in Silver Spring, MD, and there are many kosher restaurants in Silver Spring, Rockville, and D.C.
Every time shabbat evening arrives, we look forward to our powerful Kabbalat Shabbat, bursting with singing and spirit from over 250 voices. After a speech and maariv, we go to the evening meal, and with choices ranging from Hillel's community meal, to Chabad, to Meor, to your friend's apartment, you can't go wrong. The next morning, you can go to hashkama or regular shacharit, followed by a Kedma-organized kiddush, and plenty of meal choices for lunch.
When the day finally draws to a close, and the sky is tinted with the ethereal glow only found during those last precious moments of menucha, we return to Hillel for seudah shlisheet, slow shira or a shiur, and cap it off with maariv and a singing havdalah.
Kedma is no less prepared for the holidays. On Sukkot, the community gathers to build not one but two sukkot next to Hillel, and Kedma organizes lulav and etrog sales. Our Simchat Torah is legendary, with guests coming from all different colleges to join in the celebration. The Gabbinate organizes hafakot on both the men's and women's sides full of energy and simcha.
But that's not all; later that night, everyone gathers for a parade through campus culminating at Chabad. There's hundreds of people in attendance, truly a sight to behold.
And let's not forget about Purim, with a massive crowd attending our communal megilla reading in UMD's large ballroom.
BUT DON'T TAKE OUR WORD FOR IT!
Come and visit! We'd love to show you what Kedma's all about. Email us at email@example.com to set up a visit or a phone conversation! We can easily arrange for you to stay with a current student or recommend a hotel.