From constructing a sukkah to cooking Shabbat dinner, students are empowered to create meaningful religious, educational, and social programs which enrich their experience both as scholars and as Jews.
In alignment with the academic mission of the University, and as a community resourced and supported by Colgate’s Office of the Chaplains, the Colgate Jewish Union is a pluralistic, egalitarian, student-led organization which encourages participants to engage in ritual, intellectual, community-building and social justice activities. The Colgate Jewish Union seeks to promote Jewish literacy, both among Jews and the larger community, engaging the campus in Colgate’s vibrant interfaith life.
The CJU offers weekly Shabbat services and dinner, High Holiday services, a sukkah on the main academic quad, events each night of Chanukah, a Purim Megillah reading and a week-long kosher co-op during Passover, in addition to providing sedarim for over 150 students. We've also recently instituted an egalitarian morning minyan once a week – no small feat for a campus of our size! Topical discussions with faculty and Israel programming throughout the year complement our religious and social offerings.
The Saperstein Jewish Center, commonly referred to as “The Sap” is a focal point for Jewish study, worship, and culture on our campus. This small but dynamic space houses everything from Friday night services to Monday night football, High Holiday services to challah-baking extravaganzas!
"The Sap" houses our sanctuary, a library of several hundred volumes, a classroom where several Jewish Studies courses are held, and both meat and dairy kosher kitchens. It also has computer workstations, a huge flat-screen TV and DVD player, and a Wii, as well as great couches —making it a fantastic space to do homework or just hang out.