#19, overall score 70.67/100

Fun Fact:

There are seven buildings on campus named Shapiro, including the Shapiro Residence Hall and the Shapiro Brothers Residence Hall.

Why should Jewish students attend Brandeis? Jewish life at Brandeis is rich and vibrant. There are multiple avenues for participation and involvement in Jewish life. Jewish history and culture inform Brandeis’ values, and this is reflected in the university’s commitment to lifelong learning, critical thinking and social justice. The academic calendar shows deference to the Jewish calendar: There are no classes held on major Jewish holidays, including the full eight days of Passover in the spring. Hillel is the nerve center of a diverse Jewish community. Jewish students come from a variety of Jewish experiences and easily find opportunities to engage in both familiar and new expressions of Jewish life. — Cindy Spungin, assistant director, Hillel at Brandeis

ACADEMICS Score: 20/30

  • Score: 20/30
  • Acceptance rate: 33%
  • Student/faculty ratio: 10:1
  • Jewish Studies major: Yes
  • Israel Studies major: No, but has Israel Studies center


  • Tuition: $51,570
  • Room & board costs: $14,380
  • Average annual scholarship/grant package: $31,604
  • Scholarship for Jewish students: Edward Fein Scholarship


  • Location: Waltham, Mass.
  • Region: New England
  • Public/Private: Private
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 3,621
  • Jewish undergraduate enrollment: 1,750
  • Jewish population share: 49%
  • Student origin: 28% in-state / 72% out-of-state
  • NCAA Division: III
  • NCAA team: Judges
  • Ultimate Frisbee teams: TRON, Banshee

ISRAEL Score: 19.33/20

JEWISH LIFE Score: 31.33/40

  • Score: 31.33/40
  • Hillel: Hillel at Brandeis
  • Chabad: The Chabad House at Brandeis
  • OU-JLIC: Yes
  • Meor: Yes
  • Jewish fraternities: AEPi, ΣAM, ZBT
  • Jewish sororities: SDT
  • Anti-Semitic incidents in 2016: 3
  • Can you get kosher food on the school meal plan? Yes
  • Active Hillel clubs: 24
  • Hillel Friday night services: 4
  • Average Shabbat attendance – Hillel: 400
  • Synagogues within 10 miles: 29 (6 Orthodox, 9 Conservative, 14 Reform)
  • Eruv: Yes
  • Most famous Jewish alumnus: Debra Messing
  • Most unique/noteworthy Hillel club: The Hillel Theatre Group has three performances each year. The 24-Hour Musical is in partnership with the other musical theatre club on campus. The production is cast, rehearsed, produced and performed in 24 hours. The Fall Production is a non-musical play featuring either Jewish content or a Jewish playwright (usually both). The Spring Musical features open casting — all students who audition will be cast in the show. For all three of these productions, no auditions, rehearsals or performances conflict with Shabbat or other holiday celebrations/observances. Over 400 students participate in a HTG event each year!
  • Where do Jewish students come from? All over the country.
  • Kosher food details: Kosher food is available 21 meals a week. Kosher meals are served every day in the Sherman Dining Hall. Additionally, kosher food, snacks and beverages are available in the Usdan Student Center, where there is a kosher deli and a convenience store with many kosher provisions.

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