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What are the Best Colleges for Jewish Students?

What are the Best Colleges for Jewish Students?

Laughing college students sitting together on a college green

Headed to college this fall and want to know where to find the best Jewish activities on campus? Or maybe you're an underclassman who's just thinking about what schools you'd like to apply to when the time comes. Either way, The Forward's first-ever college guide is a great place to start. The guide was created by two young Forward staffers "whose own diplomas are as fresh as their memories. They spent months collecting data and crunching numbers, surveying campus professionals and speaking to students, parents and alumni, to create a comprehensive picture of what Jews take into consideration when they look for a college."

Whether students are looking for a kosher dining hall, a robust Ultimate Frisbee team, a vibrant Hillel experience, or all three, this list helps break down what they're likely to find and where, when it comes to Jewish life on campus. It also includes information about academics and cost, plus personal testimonies from students, staff, faculty, and alumni.

The guide actually lists the top 171 schools for Jewish students. Breaking it down, though, The Forward divides up the top schools by categories, including regions. They are:

In addition these breakdowns, The Forward lists 22 schools for Israel-lovers, 36 schools with great Jewish Greek life, and the 18 best colleges, overall, for Jewish life. JTA explains some of the methodology behind The Forward's list and explains any of its potentially confusing elements, so check that out, too, for full clarity. 

So which schools take top honors?

  1. Emory University
  2. University of Pennsylvania
  3. Washington University in St. Louis
  4. Harvard University
  5. Vanderbilt University

To see the others, you'll have to check out the list for yourself. Did your alma mater make the cut?

Kate Bigam is the social media and community manager for the Union for Reform Judaism, serving as a content manager and editor for She is a proud alumna of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism’s Eisendrath Legislative Assistant fellowship and also served as the RAC's press secretary. A native Ohioan, Kate grew up at Temple Beth Shalom in Hudson, OH, and holds a degree in magazine journalism from Kent State University. She and her fiancé live in Cleveland.

Kate Bigam

Published: 8/08/2017

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