Located in the heart of Los Angeles’ San Fernando Valley, California State University, Northridge’s sprawling 365-acre campus makes it one of the largest single-campus universities in the United States. Undergraduate enrollment at CSUN is 38,000 students. There are 2,500-5,000 Jewish students on campus, 25-75 students attended a Modern or Centrist Orthodox day school, and 15-25 students participated in an Orthodox gap year program in Israel.
Since the majority of Jewish students at CSUN, L.A. Valley College, and Pierce College live at home and commute to campus for class, OU-JLIC offers Torah study and social activities for the students both on campus and at home in the Jewish community. The OU-JLIC Torah Educators are role models for Jewish students of all backgrounds, and students appreciate their analytical approach to Judaism and their advice on issues both personal and religious. Most on campus programming takes place at CSUN.
Torah at CSUN includes mishmar, a shiur on Pirkei Avot, kashrut and Gemara chaburot, Lunch and Learns, Jew Q (Q&A session), and Mensches at Menchie’s—a relaxed, informal presentation and discussion of different moral dilemmas and how they are viewed in secular law and traditional Jewish law. Students can also study in chevrutot with the OU-JLIC educators. OU-JLIC game nights, challah bakes, and ladies Rosh Chodesh events are examples of social programming. OU-JLIC’s Yizkor Project helps students that have lost family members learn ways to honor their memory. OU-JLIC and Hillel 818 jointly run the iLead Professional Development Series, which provides students with leadership skills to enhance their present and future.
OU-JLIC’s Shabbat programing takes place off-campus in Encino/Tarzana, and on some Shabbatot in other cities throughout the greater Los Angeles area. The OU-JLIC educators host students for Shabbat and chagim meals and give a shiur Shabbat afternoon 45 minutes before Mincha. Mincha is followed by seudah shelishit and Maariv. Sometimes there is a “Fire & Ice” Saturday night Melaveh Malkah at a local frozen yogurt shop to start off the week with something sweet, and opportunity to socialize, as well as fulfill the mitzvah of havdalah for students that are in need. There are also occasional OU-JLIC shabbatonim in various locations across Southern California with minyanim, meals, an oneg, and other activities. At CSUN, Chabad works to have weekly Friday night and Shabbat morning services. Hillel 818 hosts a kosher communal Shabbat dinner with 20-30 traditional students.
Meet The Educators