• What portion of Wesleyan undergrads are Jewish?

    We estimate that Wesleyan is approximately 20–22% Jewish.  There are roughly somewhere between 600 and 700 Jewish undergraduates. 

  • Is there specific programming for first-year students?

    At New Student Orientation, we have our traditional Freshmen Shabbat service and dinner. There are also social events hosted by the WJC during NSO. In addition, our Kesharim are ready and willing to introduce any and all interested freshmen to Jewish life on campus.

  • Does the Jewish community have its own space?

    One of the headquarters for Jewish student life at Wesleyan is the Bayit, a Jewish program house.  It is home to 20+ students, and for many of them, a strong, Jewish community is important.  In the Bayit, there is a kosher kitchen as well as a large common area where guest speakers, meetings, and social events take place.  For more information, go to http://www.wesleyan.edu/reslife/housing/program/bayit.htm

  • Is there kosher food? Is it any good?

    Wesleyan runs a kosher dining station on the second floor of the Usdan Campus Center. The Shalom Salaam Kosher Eatery at Usdan Campus Center serves all you can eat kosher food for lunch and dinner, every weekday, while school is in session. This eatery is under the rabbinic supervision of Rabbi David Teva. During Passover, it becomes kosher for Passover.


    Jewish Cooking/Shabbat Co-op

    The Bayit, the Jewish program house, also has a kosher-style kitchen that is open to all students on campus and where a kosher-by-ingredient shabbat dinner is prepared and served by students, weekly.

  • What does a typical Shabbat at Wesleyan look like?

    While there is no typical or standard Wesleyan Shabbat, it's their variety that makes shabbatot so special. Shabbat at Wesleyan is student-led and coordinated. Every week,  a service is led by students, beginning at 5 p.m. These services are always different.  Sometimes they resemble a Carlebach (Hassidic) service, sometimes a summer camp service with guitar, sometimes a movement service involving dancing and yoga.  There are usually between 30 and 70 people for Shabbat and afterwards we all gather to enjoy a home-cooked meal, prepared by peers.

  • Does Wesleyan have Jewish music or Jewish cultural programming on campus?
    Absolutely! Pharoah’s Daughter, Art Spiegelman, Kirtan Rabbi, Gabi Meyer, and Simkha DuBowski (director of Trembling Before God) have all recently performed at Wesleyan.  In addition, there are always new Jewish cultural groups starting on campus.  In the past, we have had Israeli dancing, a Yiddish club, a Jewish a capella group, and a Klezmer group.
  • I have heard that Wesleyan students are very involved in student activism. Are there Jewish activist groups on campus?

    Many, but not all students choose to get involved in activism. Subjects range from on-campus issues to international events and political controversies. Jewish students on campus who choose to get involved have many venues to do so. Though not run by Wesleyan Jewish Community, there are a number of student groups, including Cardinals for Israel, J Street U, and Jewish Voice for Peace, that engage specifically with Israel/Palestine.

    For a full list of student groups, please see http://wsa.wesleyan.edu/student-group-resources/directory/

  • Are there traditional/orthodox Jews at Wesleyan University?

    Every year we get a small number of Jewish students who come from Orthodox Jewish backgrounds. 

  • What kind of Jewish students come to Wesleyan?

    All of them. Wesleyan gets many cultural Jews as well as Jews who come from day schools and Hebrew high schools. 

    Many of our students have been active in Nifty, Young Judea, USY, HaBonim, Camp Ramah, No’ar Hadash, HaShomer, and others.  Every year, we have students who join us after spending a semester or year studying in Israel. 

    In addition, Wesleyan has a number of students who are exploring Judaism at their own pace and in their own way.  Our community is welcoming and supportive of Jews of any and all backgrounds.

  • What happens on Jewish holidays at Wesleyan?

    All holidays are celebrated on campus with religious services as well as festive meals. 

  • Is there a Jewish studies program at Wesleyan?

    Yes! For more information go to http://wesleyan.edu/jis/

  • What does the Jewish social scene look like?

    The Jewish community at Wesleyan is always sponsoring social events such as our Schmooze with the Jews ice cream parties, pizza parties, our smores-by- the-fire get-togethers, and exciting holiday parties. Jewish students often organize their own programming and festivities.