Nestled in scenic Westwood California, University of California, Los Angeles is a prestigious university with a sprawling campus. It enrolls 30,800 undergraduate students and is conveniently situated within easy driving distance to the vibrant, established Orthodox communities and plethora of kosher restaurants in Los Angeles. There are 2,700-3,300 Jewish students and 40-50 students from Modern or Centrist Orthodox day schools. Many Orthodox students live at home in the nearby Orthodox communities (some of which are walkable on Shabbat for the truly hearty). Students who live on campus start in the dorms during their first year and then move to The Bayit, a Jewish co-op off campus, or in off-campus apartments. In addition, a handful of students from other local campuses choose to live near UCLA and/or participate in the unique communal experience OU-JLIC offers.
OU-JLIC offers an abundance of free Kosher food at communal programming throughout the week! Breakfast club (following Shacharit), Shabbat kiddushim and onegs, monthly women’s Rosh Chodesh programming, Mishmar, and social events provide ample opportunities to enjoy and strengthen the optimal campus community. Some of the weekly OU-JLIC programmatic highlights include several popular lunch and learns: JewQ is an open forum for Jewish exploration and inquiry that attracts 45 participants weekly, and Nooshe Jon (“eat it to your health” in Farsi) is a learning opportunity uniquely designed for the strong community of Persian students on campus.
Shabbat at UCLA is a wonderful experience. Though many commuters return home for the weekend, those who remain on campus participate in a full Shabbat experience. Friday night, approximately 20 students attend the Orthodox service at Hillel and then join their peers for a communal dinner with 120-250 students. Shabbat morning attracts a minyan for davening, followed by a communal lunch with 35-40 people, Mincha and socializing.
UCLA is an amazing place to be a Jewish student. Robust, endowed centers for Israel and Jewish studies support an abundance of academic courses. Professors will generally make alternative testing arrangements for students when tests occur on Jewish holidays (sometimes professors request a note from a Rabbi).
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