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  • Family and Society
  • General Questions on Education

American Universities


Rabbi David Sperling

Elul 23, 5779
If a Jew is applying to a university and there is no synagogue within in 10 miles but the university offers Shabbat, Kosher food, etc can it still be an option? Why or why not? Thank you.
Shalom, Thank you for your question. Obviously finding a university with a good Jewish life is very important. A person goes to university to learn secular studies, attain a degree, and to become knowledgeable – and perhaps even add to the world's knowledge at some stage. All worthy endeavors. However, making sure that one's spiritual and religious life are protected, and hopefully also grow is of prime importance. Today going to university is for some people the greatest challenge to their religious life they will face – and for others university provides a place where they can flourish religiously as they never did before. It all depends on the individual and the campus. A synagogue (or at least a Shabat minyan) is usually a good gauge of the fact that there is some Jewish life on campus. But, I could imagine a situation where there was no synagogue but there was an active outreach Rabbi and Rebetzin working on campus who would make religious life a possibility. May I suggest that you find out if there is such a person in the university you are thinking of, and to turn to them directly with you question. I'm sure that they will be only to happy to help you understand if the campus is for you or not. May you be blesses with every success.
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