#33, overall score 64.75/100

Fun Fact:

The Northwestern University Dance Marathon, which lasts for 30 hours, has raised more than $19 million for charity since 1975.

Why should Jewish students attend Northwestern? Northwestern University is an amazing place for Jewish students. In addition to a well respected Jewish and Israel studies department (a leader in Holocaust studies), we have a strong Chabad, Meor and Hillel servicing the educational, social and spiritual needs of our students. Northwestern has many other Jewish groups including pro-Israel groups, a Jewish theater group, TAMID and tikkun olam opportunities. Northwestern also has a strong Jewish fraternity, AEPi, who are active not only in Greek life but also embrace their Jewish values. 60% of the Jewish students go Greek, so many fraternities and sororities are filled with Jews. Even though BDS passed at NU, Jewish students feel comfortable expressing their Jewish identities. Northwestern puts a big emphasis on diversity and leadership. To maximize one’s experience at NU, we encourage Jewish students to take on a leadership role within Jewish life. Our Jewish students are very active in creating amazing opportunities for NU community to participate in. — Rabbi Dov Hillel Klein, director, Tannenbaum Chabad House

Situated along the shore of Lake Michigan, just north of downtown Chicago, Northwestern is a world-class university, currently ranked #12 by U.S. News and World Report, and is renowned for its schools of journalism, theater, business, and law; its Big Ten athletics; and its bright, talented, and diverse student population. Jewish students of all backgrounds and interests have a wide array of opportunities to connect with Jewish life and their own Jewish story and journey. They have a beautiful Hillel building with great staff and resources that enable them to create meaningful Jewish experiences for themselves and their peers; a vibrant Jewish and Israel Studies program; and several other Jewish organizations serving their needs. Jewish life on this campus is thriving in myriad ways, and Jewish students at Northwestern are succeeding, and excelling, in just about every way imaginable, from co-chairing NU Dance Marathon to editing the campus daily newspaper to playing in Big 10 varsity sports to winning Fulbright Scholarships to starring on Broadway. — Michael Simon, executive director, Northwestern Hillel

ACADEMICS Score: 30/30

  • Score: 30/30
  • Acceptance rate: 11%
  • Student/faculty ratio: 7:1
  • Jewish Studies major: Yes
  • Israel Studies major: No


  • Tuition: $50,855
  • Room & board costs: $15,489
  • Average annual scholarship/grant package: $39,020


  • Location: Evanston, Ill.
  • Region: Midwest
  • Public/Private: Private
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 8,314
  • Jewish undergraduate enrollment: 1,123
  • Jewish population share: 14%
  • NCAA Division: I
  • NCAA team: Wildcats
  • Ultimate Frisbee teams: NUT, GungHo

ISRAEL Score: 9.25/20

JEWISH LIFE Score: 25.5/40

  • Score: 25.5/40
  • Hillel: Northwestern Hillel
  • Chabad: Tannenbaum Chabad House
  • OU-JLIC: No
  • Meor: Yes
  • Jewish fraternities: AEPi, ZBT
  • Jewish sororities: None
  • Anti-Semitic incidents in 2016: 5
  • Can you get kosher food on the school meal plan? Yes
  • Active Hillel clubs: 11
  • Hillel Friday night services: 3
  • Average Shabbat attendance – Hillel: 100
  • Average Shabbat attendance – Chabad: 30
  • Synagogues within 10 miles: 49 (27 Orthodox, 9 Conservative, 13 Reform)
  • Eruv: No
  • Most famous Jewish alumnus: Zach Braff
  • Most unique/noteworthy Hillel club: The Jewish Theatre Ensemble (JTE) exists to provide the Northwestern community with high-quality entertainment and exposure to Jewish involvement in the arts. The organization aspires to challenge common perceptions and generate conversation relating to issues that fall within the resonance of the Jewish experience through artistic media with particular relevance to the Northwestern community. JTE is involved in the celebration and education of Jewish culture on campus, and it operates at a level of artistic excellence and encourages creative endeavors that promote Jewish themes in the arts. JTE produces 4-5 shows per year and is part of the tremendously vibrant theater scene at Northwestern.
  • Where do Jewish students come from? Students come from all over the country and many come from different countries including Israel.
  • Kosher food details: Northwestern University provides kosher dining on the student meal plan at the centrally-located Allison Dining Hall. In addition, kosher sandwiches and other “grab-and-go” are available for purchase at other campus locations. Hillel and Chabad provide free kosher meals for students on Shabbat and Jewish holidays throughout the academic year. The main supermarket in Evanston has a Mega Kosher department, including a kosher takeout restaurant.

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