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jewish social life at ivies?

aribbz2757aribbz2757 Registered User Posts: 10 New Member
edited November 2012 in Harvard University
What is the jewish social life at harvard/ yale and princeton and how does it compare to penn?
Post edited by aribbz2757 on

Replies to: jewish social life at ivies?

  • gibbygibby Registered User Posts: 10,497 Senior Member
    You have to ask a specific question to get a specific answer. How does it compare is very general. See:
    Home | Harvard Hillel
    Yale Hillel | Slifka
    Center for Jewish Life/Hillel
  • aribbz2757aribbz2757 Registered User Posts: 10 New Member
    as in i know they have centres but how active is the jewish community? is it cool to be jewish? if i am looking at jewish social life as a priority, do harvard and princeton fit that too?
  • gibbygibby Registered User Posts: 10,497 Senior Member
    At HYP, you are going to find a percentage of students who are very active in Jewish life, while others are somewhat active, and still others are like my goyim children. My daughter often eats at Harvard Hillel because the food is better there than at the dining halls, and my son regularly takes Krav Maga at Yale's Slifka Center because he's into martial arts. As with any activity or faith, it is what you make of it. Is it cool to be Jewish? I guess so -- in the same way it is cool to be Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, Atheist, etc. Diversity, pluralism and tolerance is the norm on college campuses these days.
  • JHSJHS Registered User Posts: 17,944 Senior Member
    My impression is that Penn has a far more active specifically Jewish-identified social life that does not revolve around religion. Penn has strong, active predominantly Jewish fraternities and sororities, something not present at HYP (or, if present now, not especially vibrant). Penn also has, I believe, a stronger demographic bias to places where lots of affluent Jews live (the NYC-Washington corridor and LA).

    All of the schools have vibrant communities of observant Jews, whose social life often follows their religious practice. But observant Jews are a relatively small percentage of the Jewish students at each school. The difference at Penn is that nonobservant Jews seem to band together socially -- not tightly, but loosely -- more there than elsewhere.

    My impression could be wrong, by the way. It's mostly based on the kids I have known over the past 10 years or so, but I certainly haven't known a scientific sample of Jewish kids at all the schools. It's also based somewhat on my very out-of-date experience as a student, when I would have said the same thing with a lot more first-hand knowledge.
  • gibbygibby Registered User Posts: 10,497 Senior Member
    Also, see Crimson article published 10/01/12: Harvard?s High Holidays | Opinion | The Harvard Crimson
  • fauxmavenfauxmaven Registered User Posts: 1,794 Senior Member
    There is plenty of activity for students looking for a Jewish social life at Harvard.
  • goldenboy8784goldenboy8784 Registered User Posts: 1,698 Senior Member
    I would say Princeton has the least active social life geared specifically towards Jewish students compared to HY and Penn. For whatever reason, some elite schools have stronger Jewish communities than others. Harvard, Yale, Chicago, Wisconsin, GW, Cornell, Penn, and Michigan have enrolled large percentages of Jewish students historically and have social programming strongly geared to the Jewish population while Princeton, Dartmouth, Duke, Amherst, Williams, Georgetown, UNC, and UVA tend to lag in this area.

    Of course, this is neither a positive or negative thing. Some could say that Jews are way too overrepresented at Yale and Penn while they are present in the appropriate numbers at Princeton or Duke given their overall profile in the United States.

    If you are seeking a school with a "strong Jewish scene" though, I wouldn't pick Princeton among these 4 choices. You can't go wrong between Harvard, Yale, and Penn though.
  • gibbygibby Registered User Posts: 10,497 Senior Member
  • HannaHanna Registered User Posts: 14,694 Senior Member
    i agree with goldenboy.
  • jrd3542jrd3542 Registered User Posts: 19 New Member
    very interesting thread
  • jrd3542jrd3542 Registered User Posts: 19 New Member
    is there any anti semitism/
  • gibbygibby Registered User Posts: 10,497 Senior Member
    HUDS Restricts Access to Hillel | News | The Harvard Crimson

    "To offset an operating budget deficit, Harvard University Dining Services has implemented a dining restriction at Harvard Hillel that will curb the number of non-Jewish students eating at the kosher dining hall.

    A sign went up on Friday at the entrance of the dining hall, limiting admittance to only those who are “a member or an invited guest of Harvard’s diverse Jewish community.”

    “The most important part of Hillel’s mission is hospitality,” said Harvard Hillel Executive Director Rabbi Jonah C. Steinberg. “[The restriction] creates conflict with our inclusive and welcoming environment, but I understand HUDS’s concern about its budget.”

    Preparing kosher meals at Hillel costs twice as much as preparing other meals in House dining halls, according to Steinberg, who has been in communication with HUDS.

    HUDS Spokesperson Crista Martin declined to comment."
  • lioness4lioness4 Registered User Posts: 190 Junior Member
    and nu, whats wrong with Columbia? too jewish? (to be read with your mother-in-law's guilt inducing tone)
  • lioness4lioness4 Registered User Posts: 190 Junior Member
    seriously, i agree with golden boy. penn seems to have a very active jewish scene that is not religious per se. the issue isn't percentages, for each individual the question is: is it my kind of jewish scene. i went to a school with a high percentage jewish student body but, for me, it was misleading since they were either much more observant or totally unaffiliated.
This discussion has been closed.