The Jewish Community at UC Berkeley
UC Berkeley welcomes students from all different backgrounds, nationalities, and religions to campus. The Jewish community – including faculty, staff, students, and off-campus society – works together to create a vibrant place for Jewish students and to support them during their time at UC Berkeley.
Ranging from an active student life to rigorous academic programs, UC Berkeley offers a world-class education. You have access to our libraries, research facilities, recreational centers, and of course, our renowned faculty and top students from all over the world.
The following is a list of programs, agencies, and opportunities designed to support the Jewish student experience at Berkeley. For a unique Jewish campus tour, visit: berkeleyhillel.org/jewish-campus-tour (link is external)
Center for Jewish Studies: The mission of the Center is to gather faculty, students, and visiting academics for research and debate across the wide scholarly landscape of Jewish Studies. The Center builds upon Berkeley’s exemplary reputation in the field. The Center also offers a minor in Jewish studies.
The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life: The Collection was established in 2010 following the transfer of the Judah L. Magnes Museum to the University of California, Berkeley. Its remarkably diverse archive, library and museum holdings include art, objects, texts, music, and historical documents about the Jews in the Global Diaspora and the American West. As one of the world's preeminent Jewish collections in a university setting, it provides highly innovative and accessible resources to both researchers and the general public.
Berkeley Institute for Jewish Law and Israel Studies: The Berkeley Institute houses two core programs: the Berkeley Program on Israel Studies, a nationally-recognized initiative for the study of Israel, and the Berkeley Program on Jewish Law, Thought and Identity, the only program of its type in the western United States.
law.berkeley.edu (search for Institute for Jewish Law)
Kosher Dining Hall: Located in Unit 3, Café 3 offers Kosher certified meals seven days a week.
Berkeley Hillel: Berkeley Hillel is the center for Jewish life on campus. A pluralistic and welcoming community, Berkeley Hillel provides an array of opportunities for Jewish students, including social events, community service, cultural opportunities, and religious programming. Through its educational fellowships, this center foster students’ Jewish identities while building leadership skills. The organization offers trips to Israel through Birthright Israel, and provides scholarships for students to attend conferences throughout North America. Committed to helping students take ownership over their Jewish lives, Berkeley Hillel provides support and resources for students to host their own events in their dorm, fraternity/sorority, co-op, or apartment.
Berkeley Chabad: The Rohr Chabad Jewish Student Center is committed to providing an array of Jewish resources to the thousands of students, alumni, and faculty at UC Berkeley. As proud UC Berkeley Alumni themselves, Rabbi Gil and Bracha Leeds co-direct and oversee the centers programming and events. From delicious home cooked Shabbat meals to High Holiday Services, the UC Berkeley academic community is invited to participate in any and all activities. The door at Chabad is always open, and Jews from various backgrounds are welcome. No matter where you place yourself on the spectrum of Jewish practice, Chabad invites you to enjoy exploring your heritage in a warm, welcoming, and nonjudgmental environment.
Alpha Epsilon Pi (AEPi): AEPi is the only Jewish fraternity on campus. AEPi currently includes more than 57 members from all Jewish backgrounds. The mission is to provide opportunities for the Jewish college man seeking the best possible college and fraternity experience. This fraternity has been on the UC Berkeley campus since 1949.
Jewish Student Union: The Jewish Student Union is a parent organization for Berkeley’s thirteen-plus Jewish student groups that empower Jewish students to explore, celebrate, and sanctify life in a Jewish way. The Union inspires student-run campaigns and programs to instill Jewish values through peer-to-peer social networks. Its organizations highlight the diversity of Cal’s Jewish community through an array of projects from athletic to social action. Any student may participate in Jewish Student Union sponsored programs – no membership is required. The Jewish Student Union is committed to a pluralistic vision of Judaism.
Berkeley Bayit: The Berkeley Bayit is a cooperative communal Jewish household of twelve great, fun loving students who enjoy creating a Jewish home and living in a historic Julia Morgan house (the former LeConte Hall circa 1908), at 19 Hillside Court. The house overlooks the campus and the Bay. Berkeley Bayit offers Jewish programs for both the residents and the UC Berkeley Jewish community.
Chancellor's Advisory Committee on Jewish Student Life & Campus Climate: The Committee provides a consistent voice of advocacy for Jewish students and Jewish life on the Berkeley campus. It acts as the primary resource and advocate for Jewish students in regard to campus climate, serving as a point of contact for students and advising the Chancellor on maintaining an inclusive and welcoming environment. Additionally, the Committee reviews the current status of infrastructure and support for Jewish life at Berkeley and make recommendations for improvement, as well as works with the Chancellor to explore how we can strengthen and enrich Berkeley's academic programs in Jewish and Israeli studies.