As an Orthodox Jew who is a recent college graduate (and proud alumna of NYU), I know firsthand the challenges of being an observant Jew on a college campus. At many campuses, Shabbat, holidays and everyday meal planning can be a hassle — especially in universities far from a large Jewish community. Thankfully, I attended a university with an abundance of resources — delicious kosher food available on the meal plan, abundant Jewish programming on campus, an engaged and tight-knit Jewish student community, dedicated Hillel / Chabad / OU-JLIC professionals and plenty of synagogues nearby.
The schools on this list provide all of these things and more: our formula for Orthodox-friendly campuses is designed to ensure that all of the colleges on this list have kosher food on the meal plan, at least one Orthodox synagogue within 10 miles, abundant Jewish programming and an eruv surrounding their campus (a construct that allows Jewish residents to carry certain objects outside their own homes on Shabbat), allowing community members to observe Shabbat more easily. We adjusted our general formula to weigh these factors more heavily than others in our list, but of course, academic quality, affordability and Israel-friendliness are also important to Orthodox students and were taken into consideration as well: see “By The Numbers: The Forward’s College Guide Formula, Explained” for more information.
Correction: August 12, 2017
A previous version of this list incorrectly omitted Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).