University of California, Los Angeles

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#24, overall score 69.33/100

Fun Fact:

The first message sent over Arpanet, the forerunner of the internet, was sent in 1969 from room 3420 of Boelter Hall. The message was “LO” — because the system crashed before the word “LOGIN” could be completed.

Why should Jewish students attend UCLA? “Students will find a robust and diverse Jewish life on campus with multiple offerings, while in close proximity to the greater LA Jewish community.” — Rabbi Dovid & Elisa Gurevich, Chabad House @ UCLA

“Hillel provides a warm, engaging community in which students are empowered to take ownership over programming and express their ideas. There is a true plurality of Jewish backgrounds and political beliefs represented within the Jewish community, and we generally function as a cohesive whole. With such a diverse community, we have succeeded in training our students to learn from difference instead of attacking it. There is a very friendly, non-competitive relationship between Hillel, Chabad, JAM and a BASE Hillel program, and students move fluidly between different Jewish and Israel opportunities. On the academic side, UCLA hosts very robust Centers for Jewish Studies and Israel Studies, and the quality of UCLA programming, faculty, and course offerings in both departments is world-class. You can’t beat the weather or location — Westwood offers a college town atmosphere without sacrificing the advantages of a major city.” — Rabbi Aaron Lerner, Executive Director, Hillel at UCLA

“For students wishing to attend college on the West Coast, UCLA is ideal in that it offers an OU-JLIC program, has a daily minyan, weekly Shabbat programming, access to kosher food and is in close proximity to a vibrant Jewish community.” — Rabbi Aryeh and Sharona Kaplan, OU-JLIC Educators


  • Location: Los Angeles, Calif.
  • Region: West
  • Campus type: Big city
  • Public/Private: Public
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 30,873
  • Jewish undergraduate enrollment: 2,500
  • Jewish population share: 8%
  • Student newspaper: Daily Bruin, Ha’Am
  • NCAA Division: I
  • NCAA team: Bruins
  • Ultimate Frisbee teams: Smaug / BLU

COST & AID Score: 6.67/15

  • Score: 6.67/15
  • In-state tuition: $13,256
  • Out-of-state tuition: $41,270
  • Room & board costs: $15,441
  • Average annual scholarship/grant package: $22,736
  • Average loan debt: $22,013
  • Starting median salary: $57,500
  • Scholarship for Jewish students: Heather Kase Scholarship

ACADEMICS Score: 10/20

ISRAEL Score: 12/20

SAFETY Score: 8.67/11

  • Score: 8.67/11
  • Anti-Semitic incidents in 2017: 0
  • Campus crime rate: 4.27/1,000 students (medium-low)
  • City crime rate: 31.93/1,000 people (medium-low)
  • LGBT center: Yes

JEWISH LIFE Score: 32/34

  • Score: 32/34
  • Hillel: Hillel at UCLA
  • Chabad: Chabad House at UCLA
  • OU-JLIC: Yes
  • Other Jewish outreach group: JAM
  • Jewish fraternities: AEPi, ΣAM, ZBT
  • Jewish sororities: SAEPi
  • Jewish dorm: UCLA Bayit
  • Jewish a capella group: Jewkbox
  • Can you get kosher food on the school meal plan? Yes
  • Active Hillel clubs: 25
  • Hillel Friday night services: 2
  • Average Shabbat attendance – Hillel: 190
  • Average Shabbat attendance – Chabad: 45
  • Synagogues within 10 miles: 49 (25 Orthodox, 11 Conservative, 13 Reform)
  • Eruv: Yes
  • Most famous Jewish alum: Mayim Bialik
  • Most unique/noteworthy club: Bearing Witness connects UCLA students with Holocaust survivors for an entire quarter. The program is run in partnership with UCLA’s Alan D. Leve Center for Jewish Studies and participants include both Jewish and non-Jewish students.
  • Where do Jewish students come from? The vast majority of UCLA students are California residents, from LA, San Diego, or the Bay area, but Jewish students come from all over the country and the world.
  • Kosher food details: There is freshly prepared kosher food at Hillel’s meat/vegetarian restaurant, and pre-packaged kosher food available through the standard meal plans in the dorms. Local kosher restaurants abound in L.A., and some of their pre-packaged food is available for purchase at various locations around campus. There is a kosher Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, and a kosher meat lunch program housed at Hillel. All Shabbat meals are provided free of charge. There are select locations on campus where a limited menu of pre-packaged kosher food can be purchased.

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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