Particularism In The University: Realities and Opportunities for Jewish Life on Campus

Publication Date: January 2006

Publisher: Maurice and Marilyn Cohen Center for Modern Jewish Studies; Steinhardt Foundation for Jewish Life

Author(s): Leonard Saxe; Amy L. Sales

Research Area: Culture and religion; Education

Keywords: Higher Education; Outreach; Campus Organizations

Type: Report

Coverage: United States


To understand the Jewish experience on campus and the forces that support or undermine Jewish choices, we conducted a study at 20 American colleges selected to represent the most common “Jewish destinations.” The study included interviews with over 700 informants as well as a web-based survey of more than 2,000 Jewish students. Our assessment of the status of Jewish life on campus is complex, a mélange of positive and negatives, challenges and promises. Jewish campus organizations seem to be doing no worse than the general Jewish community in terms of attracting and involving Jews. Examining dimensions of campus climate, the current status of the Jewish enterprise on campus and how and why students embrace or eschew Jewish opportunities during the college years, this report summarizes the research findings and offers recommendations for enhancing and expanding Jewish life on campus.