There are 26,100 undergraduate students from each of the 50 states and from close to 100 countries at NYU. The university is home to 2,500-5,000 Jewish undergraduates. NYU houses one of the strongest Orthodox communities at any university in the US. There are 250-500 Jewish students who attended Modern or Centrist Orthodox day schools and 270-330 who studied in an Orthodox gap year program in Israel. The Orthodox community at NYU draws students from dozens of yeshiva high schools across the country. Students at nearby colleges—Baruch, Cooper Union and Hunter College—are active members of Shalhevet, the Orthodox student community on campus. The Bronfman Center, NYU’s Hillel, is a state-of-the-art building that serves as the hub for Jewish life on campus. The building boasts a beautiful beit knesset; a fully stocked beit midrash; student lounges; and operates as a co-working space. Minyanim take place every day at the Bronfman Center and delicious kosher food is provided at the kosher cafeteria located in Weinstein Residence Hall. Many NYU students live in the residence halls during their freshman year, and rent apartments during their sophomore, junior, and senior years. Both the Office of Residential Life and Housing Services and the professors are sensitive to the needs of observant students.
The Bronfman Center, OU-JLIC and Shalhevet provide abundant programming for the Orthodox community with learning opportunities and social events each week. Some of the students’ most cherished OU-JLIC programs are delivering chicken soup to sick students and the affamed Matanot L’Evyonim project. The latter has raised thousands of dollars and collected hundreds of supplies for multiple causes. OU-JLIC’s signature learning event, THINK, occurs on Tuesday evenings. Students (including from other campuses in downtown New York) can also earn a stipend to participate in the NYU London Kollel, by learning b’chavrutah or attending any of the many shiurim offered throughout the week and writing something at the end of each semester on what they studied. Students pick from a few different times each day to learn, providing flexibility while creating a community of students all seeking to continue their Torah studies while at university. Minyanim are organized by student gabbaim (two gabbaim and one gabbait) with full support from the OU-JLIC Torah Educators. Chabad also offers social and educational programming for Orthodox students at NYU.
Hundreds of students, even those who live only a short bus or train ride from home, choose to stay at NYU for Shabbat because of the incredible Shabbat experience created by Shalhevet, OU-JLIC and the Bronfman Center. On any given weekend 150-175 students attend Friday night services, after which, the community eats Shabbat dinner together and enjoys an oneg, guest speaker, game night, comedian or other program. Shabbat day features student drashot and communal and home hosted lunches. The OU-JLIC educators also host students for meals on Shabbat and chagim. Both Shacharit and Mincha on Shabbat have 70-90 students. The Downtown Minyan, a relatively new minyan for graduate students and other community members in the area, also serves as a Shabbat morning option for Orthodox students– especially seniors considering living downtown post-graduation. It is regularly attended by 80-100 people. Shabbat is ushered out with a packed and uplifting seudah shelishit followed by Maariv and a communal havdalah filled with singing and dancing.
Meet The Educators