University of Rochester

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#45, overall score 62.92/100

Fun Fact:

The university’s Laboratory for Laser Energetics has some of the most powerful lasers in the world.

Why should Jewish students attend the U of R? It’s a lovely community! Very intelligent students who are very down to earth and welcoming. - Rabbi Asher Yaras, co-director, Rohr Chabad House at the U of R

The University of Rochester is a great place to be Jewish! Hillel offers two Birthright Israel trips per year, weekly Shabbat experiences, opportunities to attend national Jewish conferences, alternative spring breaks, and social events. Rochester Students for Israel and a campus chapter of AIPAC cultivate interest in Israel. The Rochester area offers many synagogues with opportunities for students to work in religious schools and youth programming. There is a large and vibrant Jewish community of nearly 20,000 in the city. There is also an active Chabad with a house just off campus that offers Shabbat and Holiday programming as well as opportunities to study Jewish texts. The University’s motto is Meliora, Ever Better, which is fitting as Jewish life at the University of Rochester just keeps getting better! - Dennis Kirschbaum, executive director, Hillel at the University of Rochester


  • Location: Rochester, N.Y.
  • Region: Mid-Atlantic
  • Campus type: Small city
  • Public/Private: Private
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 6,386
  • Jewish undergraduate enrollment: 900
  • Jewish population share: 14%
  • Student newspaper: Campus Times
  • NCAA Division: III
  • NCAA team: Yellow Jackets
  • Ultimate Frisbee teams: Piggies / EZ Women

COST & AID Score: 9.17/15

  • Score: 9.17/15
  • Tuition: $52,020
  • Room & board costs: $15,398
  • Average annual scholarship/grant package: $47,440
  • Average loan debt: $29,393
  • Starting median salary: $57,500
  • Scholarship for Jewish students: No

ACADEMICS Score: 10/20

  • Score: 10/20
  • Acceptance rate: 35%
  • Student/faculty ratio: 10:1
  • Median SAT range: 1250-1490
  • Jewish Studies program: Yes
  • Jewish Studies major: Minor
  • Hebrew major: No

ISRAEL Score: 13/20

  • Score: 13/20
  • Size of Birthright trip: 100
  • School-approved study abroad program in Israel: Yes
  • Israel Studies center: No
  • Israel-related clubs: Rochester Students for Israel
  • Jewish Agency for Israel fellow: Yes
  • BDS vote in last four years: Never introduced

SAFETY Score: 9.33/11

  • Score: 9.33/11
  • Anti-Semitic incidents in 2017: 0
  • Campus crime rate: 3.03/1,000 students (medium low)
  • City crime rate: 46.06/1,000 people (medium high)
  • LGBT center: Yes

JEWISH LIFE Score: 21.42/34

  • Score: 21.42/34
  • Hillel: Hillel at the University of Rochester
  • Chabad: Rohr Chabad House at the U of R
  • OU-JLIC: No
  • Jewish fraternities: AEPi, ΣAM
  • Jewish sororities: SDT
  • Can you get kosher food on the school meal plan? Yes
  • Chicken soup hotline: Yes
  • Hillel Friday night services: 2
  • Average Shabbat attendance – Hillel: 40
  • Average Shabbat attendance – Chabad: 90
  • Synagogues within 10 miles: 11 (3 Orthodox, 4 Conservative, 4 Reform)
  • Eruv: No
  • Most famous Jewish alum: Paul Singer
  • Most unique/noteworthy club: Rochester Students for Israel hosts programs that feature the cultural traditions of Israel.
  • Where do Jewish students come from? From all over the USA and the world — with large clusters from New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Chicago.
  • Kosher food details: The main dining hall offers kosher food under constant Orthodox supervision. It is meat only. Kosher dining is not open on Shabbat and holidays, but pre-prepared meals are available at those times. Friday night kosher meals are available at Hillel or Chabad. Chabad offers a Shabbat lunch.

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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