College Guide College Guide Hillel’s Guide to Jewish Life at Colleges and Universities

About the College Guide

Hillel’s College Guide is a resource for students embarking on their college search and their families, not only in choosing schools to attend, but in presenting the opportunities each student has to experience an exciting and enriching Jewish life on campus. The college years are life-changing, and we know that choosing a campus community that reflects Jewish values can play a major role in a student’s future direction.

Visit the College Guide records of the schools you’re interested in. You’ll find details on each, along with ways to connect directly to the Hillel professionals and current students on campus.

As you navigate the college search process, Hillel’s talented and committed professionals are trained to answer your questions and guide you towards a variety of resources. For more than ninety years, Hillel has provided Jewish students around the world with a spiritual, cultural, and enriching home away from home. The College Guide is available to help you find yours.

Things to look for in the guide:

  • Most importantly, is the college supported by an affiliated Hillel?
  • Does the college have a Jewish population?
  • Does the school offer any Jewish studies courses?
  • Is there an opportunity to go on a Taglit-Birthright Israel trip?
  • Finally, contact the local Hillel and talk directly with professionals or students to learn what life is like at that college. 

Since 1955 the ‘College Guide’ has helped countless young Jews find the right college. There is a wealth of data but the best way to learn about a school is to contact the local Hillel and talk to someone who knows firsthand what Jewish life is like at that campus.

College Guide History

Original College Guide from 1955 - Cover.
  • 1920-1921"American Jewish Year Book" (PDF file), a publication of the American Jewish Committee, reports on Jewish life on campus in 1918, before the creation of Hillel. The ‘Jewish Census’ shows greater numbers of Jews in New York, Pennsylvania, Illinois, and Massachusetts.
  • 1923 – First Hillel is founded at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
  • 1924 - B’nai B’rith officially adopts new Hillel at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
  • 1924 - Hillel at the University of Wisconsin is established: "to provide a channel for the Jewish Student to express himself Jewishly."
  • 1937 - "The Jewish Student in America" (PDF file), by Dr. Lee Levinger, statistics and analysis of the 1935 study of Jewish student enrollments in 1,400 institutions of higher learning in the United States.
  • 1941 - "Hillel, 1940-1941," (PDF file)  This pocket-size brochure and calendar describes Hillel directors on 17 campuses and serves as a precursor to Hillel's Guide to Jewish Life on Campus.
  • 1948 - "Two Hundred Thousand Jewish Collegians," (PDF file) by Robert Shosteck, a report on the 1946 decennial census of Jewish college students providing the enrollment statistics of Jewish students in 1,554 of 1,633  institutions of higher learning.
  • 1955-1978 - "Jewish Students and Student Services at American Universities," by Alfred Jospe, (PDF file) a statistical and historical study which updates the 1935, 1946 and 1955 reports. Funded by B’nai B’rith this guide later evolves into several companion guides including, “Guide to Kosher Facilities on Campus,” and is the precursor to the complete guide to “Jewish Life on Campus”.
  • 1981 – 1999 - ‘Hillel’s Guide to Jewish Life on Campus’ by Dr. Ruth Fredman Cernea is published by B’nai B’rith Hillel Foundations. The reformatted guide provides helpful information for young Jews searching for colleges and universities. The guide includes details about Kosher food, Jewish studies, housing services and Israel programs.
  • 1995 – Hillel’s College Guide goes online.