Tufts University

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#13, overall score 72.67/100

Fun Fact:

Tufts’ mascot is Jumbo, an elephant that performed in P.T. Barnum’s circus. After his death, he was stuffed and displayed in what is now Barnum Hall until his remains were destroyed in a 1975 fire. His ashes are kept in a peanut butter jar in the atheltic director’s office.

Why should Jewish students attend Tufts University? Tufts Hillel believes in a community in which students can explore the issues that are essential to their lives and a community in which they can engage with making the world a better place. Tufts Hillel supports students as they learn what it means to be Jewish in the 21st century. We give them the guidance, resources and opportunities to deepen that exploration — when they choose and how they choose to learn more about their Judaism. We are a student-led organization that develops programs that are compelling and accessible to as many people as possible. Our student leaders create a broad range of social, cultural, educational and religious events almost every day. Our special initiatives such as Merrin Moral Voices, Cummings/Hillel Holocaust & Genocide Education, Read by the River, Challah for Hunger and Vitality: Health & Wellness are rooted in Jewish tradition. At a time when many students are exploring what it means to be part of a history and a people — thinking more deeply about questions of identity — much of the work of Tufts Hillel relates to Jewish peoplehood. For some students, this means going to other countries to work with the Jewish communities in those places. For other students, it means going on Taglit-Birthright trips to explore Israel with Israelis and get firsthand experience of the nature of that country. And for others, it means engaging deeply with very different cultures to learn more about themselves and their own identity. At Tufts Hillel, we help students connect with their traditions, with each other, and with their community. We are a place where they can ask and discuss questions in way that adds value to the lives they’re living and the lives of others. We hope you’ll join us. — Rabbi Jeffrey Summit, executive director, Tufts Hillel

Chabad serving Tufts University is a thriving center for Jewish life well known for its warm family feel and acceptance of all. Chabad promotes the exploration, growth, and practice of Jewish ritual and celebration and provides social, educational, recreational and spiritual programming for students and faculty. — Rabbi Tzvi and Chanie Backman, Rohr Chabad House Serving Tufts University


  • Location: Medford, Mass.
  • Region: New England
  • Campus type: Suburb
  • Public/Private: Private
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 5,508
  • Jewish undergraduate enrollment: 1,200
  • Jewish population share: 22%
  • Student newspaper: Tufts Daily
  • NCAA Division: III
  • NCAA team: Jumbos
  • Ultimate Frisbee teams: Elephant Men / EWO

COST & AID Score: 9.17/15

  • Score: 9.17/15
  • Tuition: $54,318
  • Room & board costs: $14,054
  • Average annual scholarship/grant package: $43,518
  • Average loan debt: $27,367
  • Starting median salary: $60,400
  • Scholarship for Jewish students: No

ACADEMICS Score: 20/20

  • Score: 20/20
  • Acceptance rate: 15%
  • Student/faculty ratio: 9:1
  • Median SAT range: 1410-1540
  • Jewish Studies program: Yes
  • Jewish Studies major: Yes
  • Hebrew major: Minor

ISRAEL Score: 11.67/20

SAFETY Score: 3.33/11

  • Score: 3.33/11
  • Anti-Semitic incidents in 2018: 2
  • Campus crime rate: 6.44/1,000 students (high)
  • City crime rate: 13.23/1,000 people (low)
  • LGBT center: Yes

JEWISH LIFE Score: 28.5/34

  • Score: 28.5/34
  • Hillel: Tufts Hillel
  • Chabad: Rohr Chabad House Serving Tufts University
  • Jewish fraternities: ZBT
  • Jewish sororities: No
  • Jewish dorm: Bayit House
  • Jewish a capella group: Shir Appeal
  • Can you get kosher food on the school meal plan? Yes
  • Active Hillel clubs: 20
  • Hillel Friday night services: 3
  • Average Shabbat attendance – Hillel: 130
  • Synagogues within 10 miles: 27 (9 Orthodox, 8 Conservative, 10 Reform)
  • Eruv: No
  • Most famous Jewish alum: Hank Azaria
  • Most unique/noteworthy club: Moral Voices is a unique Hillel program that focuses on a different social justice program each year, sharing Jewish perspectives on moral issues such as empowering women, children’s health, gun violence, immigration.
  • Kosher food details: Hillel has kosher food on Shabbat and holidays and often during the week. There is a glatt kosher deli on campus available through students meal plans.

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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