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Jewish life at W&M

TheCoin45TheCoin45 Registered User Posts: 10 New Member
I'm a jewish male from Philly, and I have been researching W&M. I'm aware they broke ground on a new Jewish center, but am wondering about jewish life there. Are there jewish frats? How large is the jewish population there? Is there a Hillel or Chabad?

Replies to: Jewish life at W&M

  • UrbanMumUrbanMum Registered User Posts: 74 Junior Member
    I don’t have an answer but I’m going to follow the thread.
  • shawnspencershawnspencer Registered User Posts: 3,086 Senior Member
    Hey you all! I cannot speak directly to Jewish life at William and Mary because I am not from that background, however I have a number of friends that are part of the Jewish community, so I can help answer any questions that you might have. One of my previous girlfriends was very involved in the Jewish community as well and talked about it in depth.

    There are primarily three main organizations that encompass Jewish life at William and Mary: Hillel, Shevet, and the Jewish fraternity Alpha Epsilon Pi (AEPi). Hillel is the all encompassing of the three, and frequently hosts events on campus for Jewish students, but also have events open to the entire campus and anyone is welcome. These include celebration of major holidays, meals together, shabbat hours on Friday nights, services, and more. From what I have heard, the Rabbi Litt (the rabbi associated with campus) is extremely friendly and has lots of wisdom to share.

    There is a Synagogue extremely close to campus, right across the street from Phi Beta Kappa Hall, where people often go to attend services. There are also opportunities to go on Birthright trips to Israel and there are partnerships with the Cohen Career Center for specific opportunities for Jewish students that are coordinated with Hillel. The Jewish fraternity, Alpha Epsilon Pi or AEPi is one of the best received fraternities on campus. They are generally very friendly and host campus-wide free pancake nights once a year, as well as many social events and having their own traditions rooted in Judaism. There is also Shevet, which is the all-girls group as well. There is a great intersection among all these groups, as they largely participate in each other's activities when appropriate.

    From an outsider's perspective, there is a considerable Jewish population at William and Mary, however like many other places, not necessarily everyone from that background chooses to be in actively practice their faith or is actively involved in the religious group. According to my friend, it is really easy to get as much or as little involved in Jewish life as you'd like. When compared to some other universities like let's say Brandeis, the community may not be as large, but it is tight-knit and I imagine that could change considerably with the addition of the new Jewish Center, which would help establish a central hub for students as they explore the opportunities available to them.
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