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The 15 Best Colleges for Jewish Students, 2016

North America’s Best Campuses for Jewish Students, 2016

Jewish Population on Campus
1 .

Yeshiva University

New York City, New York

This modern Orthodox academic research institution was established over a century ago, and ranks among the US News and World Report’s list of top 100 national universities. With campuses spread across New York City, the all-Jewish undergraduate student body has access to robust Torah and liberal arts educations, with the opportunity to begin their studies while at a yeshiva or seminary in Israel. YU alumni include religious leaders, like Rabbis Norman Lamm and Aharon Lichtenstein, political figures and entrepreneurs. Israel advocacy initiatives on campus include fellows from CAMERA and Hasbara Fellowships, an IAC Mishelanu chapter and a YU Israel club. (Photo credit: Wikipedia.)

Jewish Population on Campus

5

+
+
+
+
+

2 .

Touro College

New York City, New York

The predominantly Jewish student body of Touro College is located on the school's campuses in New York, the West Coast, Europe and Israel. Small class sizes facilitate a close faculty-student relationship and the building of strong relationships within each department. The Institute on Human Rights and the Holocaust, led by Professor Anne Bayefsky, a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute, has gained respect for its work on these issues, impacting beyond the Jewish community. A chapter of the grassroots Students Supporting Israel movement was recently established by Touro students in Manhattan. (Photo credit: Touro College Law Center.)

Jewish Population on Campus

5

+
+
+
+
+

3 .

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Cambridge, Massachusetts

The ties between this top-ranking STEM institution and the Jewish state run deep, with MIT having the distinction of engaging in more collaborative work with Israeli academics over the past decade than any American university. MIT also boasts a fellowship program, ConnecTech, which sends students for a year of study at the prestigious Technion-Israel Institute of Technology. Kosher food, religious services, and many learning and social opportunities are readily available through the school's Chabad and Hillel centers, in addition to the presence on campus of a Jewish fraternity and sorority. Despite the existence on campus of a "Palestine@MIT" group -- and the fact that renowned anti-Israel linguist Noam Chomsky is a professor emeritus -- activity against the Jewish state is minimal. (Photo credit: Wikipedia.)

Jewish Population on Campus

2.5

+
+
+
+
+

4 .

Brandeis University

Waltham, Massachusetts

Brandeis, a non-sectarian liberal arts institution near Boston, was founded through the sponsorship of the Jewish community and continues to be a primary destination for Jews of all backgrounds. The university offers various opportunities to study the history, culture and traditions of Judaism, and is a leader in antisemitism research. Though there is an anti-Israel presence on campus, Brandeis boasts an inexhaustible array of opportunities for engagement in Jewish life and Israel advocacy. A Jewish student senator recently convinced the student senate to reject its alignment with the Black Lives Matter movement -- which accuses Israel of genocide and apartheid -- from a motion condemning racism. (Photo credit: Brandeis University.)

Jewish Population on Campus

4.5

+
+
+
+
+

5 .

City University of New York, Baruch College

New York City, New York

A part of the CUNY system, Baruch boasts a diverse Jewish student body, strong pro-Israel community and virtually non-existent anti-Zionist or antisemitic presence. Israel advocacy on campus is strong, with an impressive network in place for providing students with many Jewish social action opportunities. (Photo credit: Wikipedia.)

Jewish Population on Campus

2.5

+
+
+
+
+

6 .

University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

The University of Pennsylvania has a vibrant Jewish presence, with one of the country's pioneering full-time Chabad on Campus centers and a Hillel that supports and offers a variety of programs to over 25 student groups. Despite a small campaign on campus to promote and advance BDS, the school is largely devoid of public displays of antisemitism or anti-Zionism. The university -- which US News and World Report ranked among the top 10 academic institutions in the US -- provides many outlets for Israel engagement, such as PennAviv, a club devoted to forging connections with businesses and startups in the Jewish state. (Photo credit: Wikipedia.)

Jewish Population on Campus

4

+
+
+
+
+

7 .

Tulane University

New Orleans, Louisiana

The presence at the school of active pro-Israel groups -- including Tulane University for Israel and an AIPAC cadre -- fosters a positive campus attitude towards the Jewish state. Birthright trips led by student leaders attract dozens each year, and study-abroad programs -- in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv -- are available. In addition, Hillel and Chabad provide avenues for Jewish students and groups to engage with one another. Since 2012, Tulane Hillel has held a popular debate series called "The Big Issue," which gathers experts for lively discussions on critical matters of the day. Though a Students for Justice in Palestine chapter exists at the school, it has not been particularly active. (Photo credit: Wikipedia.)

Jewish Population on Campus

3

+
+
+
+
+

8 .

Emory University

Atlanta, Georgia

Emory is home to research institutes for the study of Judaism and Israel. Its faculty includes world-renowned Mideast and Holocaust scholars, among them Professor Deborah Lipstadt, whose victory in a libel suit brought against her by Holocaust-denier David Irving was the subject of the 2016 film "Denial." The campus Hillel supports many niche groups -- with interests ranging from business to music -- and its Chabad house is known for its Friday-night dinners. The Jewish outreach organization MEOR at Emory offers students an opportunity to connect with Jewish life. (Photo credit: Wikipedia.)

Jewish Population on Campus

3

+
+
+
+
+

9 .

Washington University, St. Louis

St. Louis, Missouri

Chabad and Hillel at WashU actively attend to the needs and interests of students from all streams of Judaism, among them those of a growing Orthodox minority. This is in addition to the presence of many other pro-Israel groups on campus. The university's business school offers a summer program for students to spend time at the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya, and become immersed in Israeli culture while learning about entrepreneurship. Some 1,000 WashU students have participated in Birthright trips over the years. (Photo credit: Wikipedia.)

Jewish Population on Campus

3.5

+
+
+
+
+

10 .

Johns Hopkins University

Baltimore, Maryland

Johns Hopkins, which recently launched an interdisciplinary Jewish studies program, offers a fully integrated kosher meal plan. Hillel hosts an annual Israel Fair in the spring and Birthright trips in the winter, while assisting pro-Israel groups with their programming throughout the year. A Chabad center provides learning and social opportunities for the school's substantial Jewish community. And while there is a Students for Justice in Palestine chapter on campus, it has maintained a relatively low profile. (Photo credit: Wikipedia.)

Jewish Population on Campus

2.5

+
+
+
+
+

11 .

University of Central Florida

Orlando, Florida

Home to a substantial Jewish population, the University of Central Florida has active Hillel and Chabad chapters, and a strong Jewish AEPi fraternity. Pro-Israel groups -- such as Knights for Israel and CAMERA on Campus -- hold regular events at the school, aimed at educating the wider student body about the Jewish state. UCF's anti-Israel presence is regarded as small and disorganized. (Photo credit: Wikipedia.)

Jewish Population on Campus

2.5

+
+
+
+
+

12 .

State University of New York, Binghamton University

Binghamton and Vestal, New York

Binghamton's Chabad center, which opened its doors in 1985, has grown into an energetic presence, offering a constant stream of programming and Friday night dinners that attract 300-400 students each week. The school's Hillel chapter provides students with many Israel-oriented opportunities, and supports Binghamton 3G, a Holocaust education group for the campus's third-generation survivors. The university recently launched the Center for Israel Studies, which offers courses on a variety of topics related to the Jewish state. The school's Students for Justice in Palestine branch -- which was revealed several years ago to be conspiring to disrupt pro-Israel events and reject all efforts at dialogue or other engagement with Zionist counterparts -- has been quiet of late. (Photo credit: Wikipedia.)

Jewish Population on Campus

4

+
+
+
+
+

13 .

Towson University

Baltimore County, Maryland

Towson's Chabad house -- which also serves the smaller, nearby Goucher College -- is undergoing a half-million-dollar renovation, to add two stories to its building. where weekly Friday night dinners have become popular among Jewish students. The school's Hillel chapter offers various types of Jewish engagement opportunities, as well as Israel trips through Birthright and Masa programs. The group Tigers for Israel is among the active voices countering the message of anti-Israel groups on campus. (Photo credit: Wikipedia.)

Jewish Population on Campus

2.5

+
+
+
+
+

14 .

Yale University

New Haven, Connecticut

Jewish students at this Ivy League institution have at their disposal some 14 organizations from which to choose. These include: the Yale Club for Israel, Hillel, the Jewish fraternity AEPi, Chabad and Israel Outdoors. Alums living in Israel are able to stay connected to their alma mater through the Jerusalem branch of the Yale Club. And, in a recent study, the school was listed as among the top 10 US universities that collaborate academically with Israeli researchers and institutes. Yale was heavily criticized by the American Jewish community in 2011, however, when it decided to shut down its Initiative for the Interdisciplinary Study of Antisemitism (YIISA), headed by Charles Small. It was a move viewed by many as political, due to the Initiative's discussion of Muslim antisemitism. Less than three weeks after its closure of YIISA, Yale announced that it would be opening the Program for the Study of Antisemitism, under the direction of Professor Maurice Samuels, in its place. (Photo credit: Yale University.)

Jewish Population on Campus

4

+
+
+
+
+

15 .

Vanderbilt University

Nashville, Tennessee

Ranked by US News and World Report as one of America's top 20 universities, Vanderbilt is home to a growing, vibrant Jewish community. Its Hillel chapter hosts regular cultural events -- such as Falafel at Midnight, sponsored by the school's advocacy group Dores for Israel -- and assists organizations like The David Project and AIPAC in public affairs events. Birthright trips attract dozens of Vanderbilt students each year. Its Chabad branch hosts popular events for Shabbat and Jewish holidays, which hundreds of students attend. (Photo credit: Wikipedia.)

Jewish Population on Campus

3

+
+
+
+
+

1 . of
  • Yeshiva University

    New York City, New York

    This modern Orthodox academic research institution was established over a century ago, and ranks among the US News and World Report’s list of top 100 national universities. With campuses spread across New York City, the all-Jewish undergraduate student body has access to robust Torah and liberal arts educations, with the opportunity to begin their studies while at a yeshiva or seminary in Israel. YU alumni include religious leaders, like Rabbis Norman Lamm and Aharon Lichtenstein, political figures and entrepreneurs. Israel advocacy initiatives on campus include fellows from CAMERA and Hasbara Fellowships, an IAC Mishelanu chapter and a YU Israel club. (Photo credit: Wikipedia.)

    Jewish Population on Campus

    5

    +
    +
    +
    +
    +

  • Touro College

    New York City, New York

    The predominantly Jewish student body of Touro College is located on the school's campuses in New York, the West Coast, Europe and Israel. Small class sizes facilitate a close faculty-student relationship and the building of strong relationships within each department. The Institute on Human Rights and the Holocaust, led by Professor Anne Bayefsky, a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute, has gained respect for its work on these issues, impacting beyond the Jewish community. A chapter of the grassroots Students Supporting Israel movement was recently established by Touro students in Manhattan. (Photo credit: Touro College Law Center.)

    Jewish Population on Campus

    5

    +
    +
    +
    +
    +

  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology

    Cambridge, Massachusetts

    The ties between this top-ranking STEM institution and the Jewish state run deep, with MIT having the distinction of engaging in more collaborative work with Israeli academics over the past decade than any American university. MIT also boasts a fellowship program, ConnecTech, which sends students for a year of study at the prestigious Technion-Israel Institute of Technology. Kosher food, religious services, and many learning and social opportunities are readily available through the school's Chabad and Hillel centers, in addition to the presence on campus of a Jewish fraternity and sorority. Despite the existence on campus of a "Palestine@MIT" group -- and the fact that renowned anti-Israel linguist Noam Chomsky is a professor emeritus -- activity against the Jewish state is minimal. (Photo credit: Wikipedia.)

    Jewish Population on Campus

    2.5

    +
    +
    +
    +
    +

  • Brandeis University

    Waltham, Massachusetts

    Brandeis, a non-sectarian liberal arts institution near Boston, was founded through the sponsorship of the Jewish community and continues to be a primary destination for Jews of all backgrounds. The university offers various opportunities to study the history, culture and traditions of Judaism, and is a leader in antisemitism research. Though there is an anti-Israel presence on campus, Brandeis boasts an inexhaustible array of opportunities for engagement in Jewish life and Israel advocacy. A Jewish student senator recently convinced the student senate to reject its alignment with the Black Lives Matter movement -- which accuses Israel of genocide and apartheid -- from a motion condemning racism. (Photo credit: Brandeis University.)

    Jewish Population on Campus

    4.5

    +
    +
    +
    +
    +

  • City University of New York, Baruch College

    New York City, New York

    A part of the CUNY system, Baruch boasts a diverse Jewish student body, strong pro-Israel community and virtually non-existent anti-Zionist or antisemitic presence. Israel advocacy on campus is strong, with an impressive network in place for providing students with many Jewish social action opportunities. (Photo credit: Wikipedia.)

    Jewish Population on Campus

    2.5

    +
    +
    +
    +
    +

  • University of Pennsylvania

    Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

    The University of Pennsylvania has a vibrant Jewish presence, with one of the country's pioneering full-time Chabad on Campus centers and a Hillel that supports and offers a variety of programs to over 25 student groups. Despite a small campaign on campus to promote and advance BDS, the school is largely devoid of public displays of antisemitism or anti-Zionism. The university -- which US News and World Report ranked among the top 10 academic institutions in the US -- provides many outlets for Israel engagement, such as PennAviv, a club devoted to forging connections with businesses and startups in the Jewish state. (Photo credit: Wikipedia.)

    Jewish Population on Campus

    4

    +
    +
    +
    +
    +

  • Tulane University

    New Orleans, Louisiana

    The presence at the school of active pro-Israel groups -- including Tulane University for Israel and an AIPAC cadre -- fosters a positive campus attitude towards the Jewish state. Birthright trips led by student leaders attract dozens each year, and study-abroad programs -- in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv -- are available. In addition, Hillel and Chabad provide avenues for Jewish students and groups to engage with one another. Since 2012, Tulane Hillel has held a popular debate series called "The Big Issue," which gathers experts for lively discussions on critical matters of the day. Though a Students for Justice in Palestine chapter exists at the school, it has not been particularly active. (Photo credit: Wikipedia.)

    Jewish Population on Campus

    3

    +
    +
    +
    +
    +

  • Emory University

    Atlanta, Georgia

    Emory is home to research institutes for the study of Judaism and Israel. Its faculty includes world-renowned Mideast and Holocaust scholars, among them Professor Deborah Lipstadt, whose victory in a libel suit brought against her by Holocaust-denier David Irving was the subject of the 2016 film "Denial." The campus Hillel supports many niche groups -- with interests ranging from business to music -- and its Chabad house is known for its Friday-night dinners. The Jewish outreach organization MEOR at Emory offers students an opportunity to connect with Jewish life. (Photo credit: Wikipedia.)

    Jewish Population on Campus

    3

    +
    +
    +
    +
    +

  • Washington University, St. Louis

    St. Louis, Missouri

    Chabad and Hillel at WashU actively attend to the needs and interests of students from all streams of Judaism, among them those of a growing Orthodox minority. This is in addition to the presence of many other pro-Israel groups on campus. The university's business school offers a summer program for students to spend time at the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya, and become immersed in Israeli culture while learning about entrepreneurship. Some 1,000 WashU students have participated in Birthright trips over the years. (Photo credit: Wikipedia.)

    Jewish Population on Campus

    3.5

    +
    +
    +
    +
    +

  • Johns Hopkins University

    Baltimore, Maryland

    Johns Hopkins, which recently launched an interdisciplinary Jewish studies program, offers a fully integrated kosher meal plan. Hillel hosts an annual Israel Fair in the spring and Birthright trips in the winter, while assisting pro-Israel groups with their programming throughout the year. A Chabad center provides learning and social opportunities for the school's substantial Jewish community. And while there is a Students for Justice in Palestine chapter on campus, it has maintained a relatively low profile. (Photo credit: Wikipedia.)

    Jewish Population on Campus

    2.5

    +
    +
    +
    +
    +

  • University of Central Florida

    Orlando, Florida

    Home to a substantial Jewish population, the University of Central Florida has active Hillel and Chabad chapters, and a strong Jewish AEPi fraternity. Pro-Israel groups -- such as Knights for Israel and CAMERA on Campus -- hold regular events at the school, aimed at educating the wider student body about the Jewish state. UCF's anti-Israel presence is regarded as small and disorganized. (Photo credit: Wikipedia.)

    Jewish Population on Campus

    2.5

    +
    +
    +
    +
    +

  • State University of New York, Binghamton University

    Binghamton and Vestal, New York

    Binghamton's Chabad center, which opened its doors in 1985, has grown into an energetic presence, offering a constant stream of programming and Friday night dinners that attract 300-400 students each week. The school's Hillel chapter provides students with many Israel-oriented opportunities, and supports Binghamton 3G, a Holocaust education group for the campus's third-generation survivors. The university recently launched the Center for Israel Studies, which offers courses on a variety of topics related to the Jewish state. The school's Students for Justice in Palestine branch -- which was revealed several years ago to be conspiring to disrupt pro-Israel events and reject all efforts at dialogue or other engagement with Zionist counterparts -- has been quiet of late. (Photo credit: Wikipedia.)

    Jewish Population on Campus

    4

    +
    +
    +
    +
    +

  • Towson University

    Baltimore County, Maryland

    Towson's Chabad house -- which also serves the smaller, nearby Goucher College -- is undergoing a half-million-dollar renovation, to add two stories to its building. where weekly Friday night dinners have become popular among Jewish students. The school's Hillel chapter offers various types of Jewish engagement opportunities, as well as Israel trips through Birthright and Masa programs. The group Tigers for Israel is among the active voices countering the message of anti-Israel groups on campus. (Photo credit: Wikipedia.)

    Jewish Population on Campus

    2.5

    +
    +
    +
    +
    +

  • Yale University

    New Haven, Connecticut

    Jewish students at this Ivy League institution have at their disposal some 14 organizations from which to choose. These include: the Yale Club for Israel, Hillel, the Jewish fraternity AEPi, Chabad and Israel Outdoors. Alums living in Israel are able to stay connected to their alma mater through the Jerusalem branch of the Yale Club. And, in a recent study, the school was listed as among the top 10 US universities that collaborate academically with Israeli researchers and institutes. Yale was heavily criticized by the American Jewish community in 2011, however, when it decided to shut down its Initiative for the Interdisciplinary Study of Antisemitism (YIISA), headed by Charles Small. It was a move viewed by many as political, due to the Initiative's discussion of Muslim antisemitism. Less than three weeks after its closure of YIISA, Yale announced that it would be opening the Program for the Study of Antisemitism, under the direction of Professor Maurice Samuels, in its place. (Photo credit: Yale University.)

    Jewish Population on Campus

    4

    +
    +
    +
    +
    +

  • Vanderbilt University

    Nashville, Tennessee

    Ranked by US News and World Report as one of America's top 20 universities, Vanderbilt is home to a growing, vibrant Jewish community. Its Hillel chapter hosts regular cultural events -- such as Falafel at Midnight, sponsored by the school's advocacy group Dores for Israel -- and assists organizations like The David Project and AIPAC in public affairs events. Birthright trips attract dozens of Vanderbilt students each year. Its Chabad branch hosts popular events for Shabbat and Jewish holidays, which hundreds of students attend. (Photo credit: Wikipedia.)

    Jewish Population on Campus

    3

    +
    +
    +
    +
    +

  • Ms. G.

    I graduated from Boston University 30 years ago when it had the nickname “B-..”oh you know the rest. I am not Jewish but I enjoyed having so many Jewish students on campus from all over the world, it was great. I wonder, if this list were longer, where BU would place on it today.

  • ricardo

    This is the NEW normal part of University life… once upon a time everyone was entitled to an opinion, and people disagreed respectfully. Nowadays seems that the ones that scream louder against Israel are always right … I feel sorry for outstanding institutions like Stanford, it always starts when they push the Jews out … after that it is a slippery slope, and over the years – because these changes take a generation – Stanford will be ranked the same as a Community College…

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