Yale University is a large research university with many departments, schools, centers, museums, and affiliated organizations. There are 250-750 Jewish undergraduates among a total undergraduate population at Yale of 5,400 students. The Orthodox community is comprised of both undergraduate and graduate students; there are 10-20 undergraduate students who attended Modern or Centrist Orthodox day schools, and another 10-15 graduate students, and around 15 undergraduate students attended an Orthodox gap year program. The university provides students with mechanical keys to their dorms for Shabbat and holiday use, and the Chaplain’s office informs all of the professors about upcoming chagim so students are not required to attend class or take exams on Yom Tov. If a student misses an exam due to Shabbat or Yom Tov, the make-up test procedures differ by professor.
OU-JLIC collaborates with Young Israel House, the Orthodox community of Yale, to sponsor guest speakers, host various seasonal events, and ensure that the religious needs of the Orthodox students are met. OU-JLIC Torah Educators teach shiurim throughout the week and learn one-on-one with students. OU-JLIC at Yale runs a Pizza & Learning weekly program with guest speakers, chaburot and chevrutah learning and Lunch and Parsha discussions.
Yale boasts a vibrant and inclusive Shabbat life. Friday night, 20-30 people attend the Orthodox minyan, followed by a communal dinner in Yale’s kosher dining hall with 120-150 students. Frequently, there is an oneg with a guest speaker, singing, socializing, and dessert. On Shabbat day the Orthodox minyan has 20-30 people. Shabbat lunch, which includes singing and a discussion of the parshah, is attended by 20-30 people– both undergraduate and graduate students as well as community members. Additionally, the OU-JLIC educators often host students for Shabbat meals in their home. Each week there is Mincha, seudah shelishit, Maariv, and Havdalah.
Meet The Educators