#4, overall score 79.58/100
Harvard, founded in 1636, is the oldest university in the United States. It was founded before calculus was invented.
Why should Jewish students attend Harvard? Jewish life at Harvard is flourishing. There are ample opportunities for Harvard students to connect to Jewish life on campus, by attending Hillel’s monthly bagel brunch with 300 peers, hosting a Hanukkah party or Passover Seder in the dorms, attending Shabbat dinner, learning with our rabbis, baking challah, doing community service and so much more. Students are encouraged to come up with new and creative ideas, and the Hillel staff supports them in making their dreams a reality. Additionally, all the Jewish campus organizations work together to ensure the needs of all of our students are being met. Hillel also leads two yearly Birthright trips that consist of quality programming and build strong connections to Israel and the Jewish community more broadly. We offer a unique extension program exclusively for Harvard students that enables them to stay for five additional days. Students attend sessions with politicians, journalists and community representatives to go deeper into issues of Israeli society and geopolitics. Overall, Harvard is a place where students have the chance to explore their Jewish selves, find meaningful Jewish experiences, and take an active role in discovering their personal connection to Jewish communal life that lasts for the four years of college and beyond. — Rebecca Powell, student activities director, Harvard Hillel
Chabad at Harvard engages the hearts and minds of Jewish students by empowering them with a personal connection to the great ideas, values and beauty of Jewish life. We ensure that the leaders of tomorrow are proud, educated and active Jews who will utilize their talents and resources on behalf of the Jewish people, Israel and humanity. Our student programming has set a new standard by transforming the Jewish experience for undergraduate and graduate students on a university campus. We continue to serve as a premier model in engaging the students of our generation. Harvard Chabad serves as a home away from home for thousands of students on the Harvard campus. At Chabad, you will experience family warmth, a lively social scene, Jewish ideas and values, and the best food on campus! Rabbi Hirschy and Elkie Zarchi, together with Chabad’s amazing student leaders, bring innovative programs to campus in the welcoming spirit of Chabad, where all feel right at home regardless of background or degree of observance. Thousands of students have had their connection to Judaism deepened through the work of Chabad at Harvard. — Chabad at Harvard
ACADEMICS Score: 30/30
- Score: 30/30
- Acceptance rate: 5%
- Student/faculty ratio: 7:1
- Jewish Studies major: Yes
- Israel Studies major: No
- Tuition: $47,074
- Room & board costs: $15,951
- Average annual scholarship/grant package: $51,475
ISRAEL Score: 15.25/20
JEWISH LIFE Score: 27.67/40
- Score: 27.67/40
- Hillel: Harvard Hillel
- Chabad: Chabad at Harvard
- OU-JLIC: No
- Meor: Yes
- Jewish fraternities: Aleph (Co-ed)
- Anti-Semitic incidents in 2016: 3
- Can you get kosher food on the school meal plan? Yes
- Active Hillel clubs: 13
- Hillel Friday night services: 3
- Average Shabbat attendance – Hillel: 85
- Average Shabbat attendance – Chabad: 125
- Synagogues within 10 miles: 29 (9 Orthodox, 8 Conservative, 12 Reform)
- Eruv: Yes
- Most famous Jewish alumnus: Natalie Portman
- Most unique/noteworthy Hillel club: The Jewish Outing Club provides undergraduates the opportunity to engage with their own spirituality while bonding with the community by participating in Jewish and outdoors-oriented activities through weekend retreats. The JOC is special because it gives students short but impactful immersive Jewish experiences, and has been a model of pluralism for the entire community. The JOC has inspired friendship and creative Shabbat practices, and gives students interested in the outdoors a gateway into experiencing powerful Jewish community.
- Where do Jewish students come from? All over the world.
- Kosher food details: Kosher food is available through the university meal plan in the “Kosher Corners” in each of the College Houses, as well as through the kosher dining hall inside the Hillel building, which serves dinner Sunday through Friday and lunch on Saturday. There are many other items available in regular dining halls that are certified kosher as well. There is also a kosher station in The Hark at Harvard Law School that is open to all, where one can purchase lunch on weekdays.