Cornell University is home to a large, diverse and supportive Jewish community. At the Center for Jewish Living, students of all backgrounds and denominations are welcome. Our religious and social programming events aim to imbue each student with a sense of belonging and community while reinforcing their connection to their Jewish roots.
The CJL is an entirely student-run operation led by an elected student board. Our house at 106 West Avenue is the epicenter of the CJL community, serving as a home away from home for all of our members. It’s here that students learn, study and hangout in a warm and inviting atmosphere. To learn more about the CJL and Jewish life at Cornell, explore the sections below.
Come to Cornell to see our beautiful campus for yourself! Contact us to coordinate your visit to Cornell. Make sure to include your name, high school, and planned major if you have one and we’ll match you with a host involved in the Jewish community. Coming for the day? Swing by the CJL at 106 West Avenue to chat with students and enjoy a meal at 104West! next door.
Each Fall and Spring, the CJL hosts a free Shabbaton for students interested in experiencing a Shabbat at Cornell. Prospective students stay with CJL members on North Campus or with residents of the CJL, and experience Shabbat meals, Shabbat services, an official Cornell Campus tour, and a fun motzei-shabbat activity. Click below for more information.
Cornell has numerous campus institutions dedicated to supporting the university’s Jewish population. Whether it be religious and academic resources or social programming, each group helps nurture the growth of every student and enhance their college experience. Learn more about these organizations at the link below.
Cornell is fortunate to have an amazing dining programming coordinated by nationally ranked Cornell Dining. In addition to an entirely kosher/halal dining hall and smaller hot station on west and north campuses, Cornell Dining has to-go meals which can be found on central campus. Local stores also carry select kosher products.
Coming to Cornell?
Have you been accepted to Cornell? Contact the CJL to get in touch with current students who can help prepare you for your Cornell experience. Taking a gap year in Israel? Join our “Cornellians in Israel” group on Facebook to stay in the know and meet other students in Israel for the year. We can’t wait to welcome you to Cornell!
Frequently Asked Questions
What’s Shabbat like at Cornell?
About 150-250 Students attend Friday night dinner on any given week. All denominations (ie. Reform,Conservative, Orthodox ) have their own services in Anabel Taylor Hall and then walk down to 104 West! for a communal dinner. Dinner consists of five star food, a dvar torah and ,usually, one of the many acapella groups at Cornell performs for the crowd. After dinner, many people will move next door and hang out in the CJL late into the night.
On Shabbat day, after each minyan finishes services, a communal dairy kiddiush is held in Anabel Taylor. From there, everyone heads down to the CJL where the JLIC Rabbi gives a pre-lunch shiur. For lunch, students can either eat at 104 West! or alternatively participate in the Cornell Hillel Lunch & Learn program in the Hillel Library. After lunch, many people will hang out in the CJL until Seudah Shlishit. Following Seudah Shlishit, there’s marriv in the CJL Beit Midrash followed by a communal havadalah.
How do you access the dorms on Shabbat?
Cornell provides regular keys to all dorms for students who are sabbath observers. In order to get one, simply go to your dorms service desk and ask for one.
What happens if an exam falls on Shabbat or a Holiday?
Most professors are more than happy to schedule an alternative exam time with observant students. However, it is your responsibility to check your class’s syllabus within the first two weeks of the semester to check for any conflicts and notify your professors. Professors need ample time to schedule alternative exam arrangements.
How to I get items that are necessary for certain holidays (i.e. Chanuka, Sukkot)?
The CJL supplies anything you may need for all holidays (ie. Menorah, Esgrog and lulav). Register with the Listserve to be updated.
Are there morning Prayer services?
There is a daily Orthodox Shacharis minyan during the week and on Sundays. Times vary depending on the day, with weekday services starting at around 7:40am and Sunday morning prayers taking place at 8:30am. Davening is followed by a light breakfast in 104 West! located adjacent to the CJL. Students living on North Campus can request rides to the CJL shul on West Campus by contacting the JLIC Rabbi.