Bucknell University

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#116, overall score 47.17/100

Fun Fact:

Bucknell’s mascot is named Bucky the Bison.

Why should Jewish students attend Bucknell? Forget basketball - Bucknell Jewish life is one of the best-kept secrets in the Patriot League! We offer the Berelson Center, a warm, inviting home base for students to make friends, cook or bake, do homework or laundry, attend prayer services or see the rabbi. Our program calendar is vibrant, diverse and engaging of many different kinds of Jews. We offer five internship openings and six student board roles each year, customized to student interests, to help students develop as leaders and build marketable job skills. The university’s most recent investments in diversity and inclusion, including religious diversity, mean that Jewish life is getting stronger, better and brighter each year. Come visit us and you’ll see! - Rabbi Chana Leslie Glazer, Chaplain for Jewish Community, Bucknell University

Jewish students at Bucknell enjoy coming to Chabad where they have the unique opportunity to be welcomed into the growing, local, Jewish community. Students enjoy engaging with people of diverse backgrounds, ages and interests and becoming an integral part of our community. Bucknellians also form a Jewish social circle of their own at the many programs that are geared uniquely to students. - Rabbi Yisroel Baumgarten, co-director, Chabad of Lewisburg


  • Location: Lewisburg, Pa.
  • Region: Mid-Atlantic
  • Campus type: Rural
  • Public/Private: Private
  • Liberal Arts: Yes
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 3,571
  • Jewish undergraduate enrollment: 300
  • Jewish population share: 8%
  • Student origin: 22% in-state / 78% out-of-state
  • Student newspaper: The Bucknellian
  • NCAA Division: I
  • NCAA team: Bison
  • Ultimate Frisbee teams: Mudsharks / Peacefrogs

COST & AID Score: 5/15

  • Score: 5/15
  • Tuition: $53,986
  • Room & board costs: $13,150
  • Average annual scholarship/grant package: $32,700
  • Average loan debt: $33,000
  • Starting median salary: $62,300
  • Scholarship for Jewish students: None

ACADEMICS Score: 13.33/20

  • Score: 13.33/20
  • Acceptance rate: 31%
  • Student/faculty ratio: 9:1
  • Median SAT range: 1250-1420
  • Jewish Studies program: Yes
  • Jewish Studies major: Minor
  • Hebrew major: No

ISRAEL Score: 11.67/20

  • Score: 11.67/20
  • Size of Birthright trip: 40
  • School-approved study abroad program in Israel: Yes
  • Israel Studies center: No
  • Israel-related clubs: None
  • Jewish Agency for Israel fellow: No
  • BDS vote in last four years: Never introduced

SAFETY Score: 7/11

  • Score: 7/11
  • Anti-Semitic incidents in 2017: 1
  • Campus crime rate: 6.07/1,000 students (medium high)
  • City crime rate: 6.07/1,000 people (low)
  • LGBT center: Yes

JEWISH LIFE Score: 10.17/34

  • Score: 10.17/34
  • Hillel: Berelson Center for Jewish Life
  • Chabad: Chabad of Lewisburg
  • OU-JLIC: No
  • Jewish fraternities: None
  • Jewish sororities: None
  • Can you get kosher food on the school meal plan? No
  • Chicken soup hotline: Yes
  • Active Hillel clubs: 2
  • Hillel Friday night services: 1
  • Average Shabbat attendance – Hillel: 25
  • Synagogues within 10 miles: 0
  • Eruv: No
  • Most famous Jewish alum: Philip Roth
  • Where do Jewish students come from? All over the country.
  • Kosher food details: The university has outfitted a certified kosher kitchen in the Berelson Center for Jewish Life, supervised by the on-site rabbi. Students use the kitchen to make food for themselves and for other students, including Shabbat dinners. Two kitchens are kashered for Passover, one at the Berelson and another site managed by Dining Services, which offer eight days of kosher-for-Passover catered lunches and dinners, as well as breakfasts and snacks.

Do you attend this school? Do you want to tell us more about what life there is like? Take our survey here, and your feedback could be featured in next year’s guide! And if you’re a student or campus professional, join our online community Jewish Campus Confidential, and apply to become a Forward Campus Ambassador.

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