Jewish Life at Oberlin

Happy students in a kitchen show off the loaves of challah they've just baked.

Oberlin is deeply committed to our Jewish community, and vibrant Jewish living, dining, and culture are longstanding and valued parts of our history. Many students at Oberlin identify as Jewish and participate in rich offerings from the Jewish Studies Program, the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life, and campus chapters of Hillel and Chabad. Students also lead a variety of organizations and activities focused on Jewish life and culture.

Hillel at Oberlin

Hillel is a student-centered, pluralistic Jewish space that welcomes people of all movement and secular backgrounds, cultures, sexual orientations, gender identities, and all approaches to Israel. The Cleveland Hillel Foundation provides Oberlin’s Jewish life staff. Rabba Amalia Haas is the Rabbi in Residence at Oberlin, and Yaffa Muhlbaum is the Springboard Social Justice Fellow. More about Oberlin College Hillel

Chabad at Oberlin

With Rabbi Shlomo and Devorah Elkan serving as codirectors, Chabad at Oberlin is a meeting ground for conversation that highlights and complements the diversity at Oberlin College and Conservatory, offering social, educational, recreational, and religious programming for students and faculty. We are here for you, whether you need matzo ball soup when you’re feeling under the weather, someone to talk with about Jewish and spiritual issues, or simply a good chat. We want you to feel at home and comfortable. More about Chabad at Oberlin

Kosher Dining

The Heritage Kosher Kitchen at Talcott Hall provides delicious meals Monday through Thursday as a part of Oberlin’s regular meal plan. View menus for the Heritage Kosher Kitchen

Grab & Go meals are available daily in DeCafe’ in the basement of Wilder Hall. Kosher catering is also available upon request. Kosher dining is under the supervision of Rabbi Shlomo Elkan and is managed by AVI.

Hebrew Heritage House (Johnson House)

Approximately 30 students live in Johnson House, the residential program house for Jewish Studies. Founded in 1969 by students as a Winter-Term project under the name Hebrew House, Johnson House today is a three-story, Queen Anne-style mansion complete with a fireplace, library, kitchen and lounges. You can view photos of Johnson House on the Identity-Based Communities housing page. More about Hebrew Heritage House

CHALLaH Cappella

Oberlin’s Jewish music a cappella group that performs at student functions throughout the year. Repertoire includes everything from traditional Jewish melodies, modern Israeli pop tunes, and an array of American songs by Jewish artists. More about CHALLaH Cappella

Jewish Studies

Established in 1971, the Jewish Studies Program explores more than 3,000 years of Jewish civilization through the primary lenses of religion, history, and culture. We offer a range of courses for the major and minor, from introductory courses to private readings.

Students acquire a broad knowledge of the field along with fundamental tools required for its continued pursuit. These skills include the ability to engage with core religious and historical texts of the Jewish tradition, as well as methods for interpreting other materials relevant to the study of the Jewish religion, history, literature, philosophy, and culture. More about Jewish Studies

Winter Term

Oberlin Winter Term is a time for students to pursue interests outside of regular course offerings through in-depth learning experiences each January. Projects can be done independently or in groups, on Oberlin’s campus, across the U.S., or around the world. Traditionally, students and faculty plan Winter Term offerings connected to student interest in their Jewish heritage, including Intensive Yiddish and Intensive Hebrew.

Office of Religious and Spiritual Life

The Office of Religious and Spiritual Life strives to meet students where they are, serving foremost as a companion on the journey that is exclusively theirs. In this spirit, we offer an extraordinary array of diverse and vibrant opportunities designed to help students thrive as they authentically address their ultimate questions both within and across faiths. More about Religious and Spiritual Life