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Jewish Life at Colgate

At Colgate, Jewish life is student-run. 
Soferet Demo
Soferet (ritual scribe) Linda Coppleson demonstrates how to fix a Torah scroll at the Saperstein Jewish Center.
Sukkot on the Quad
Students are celebrating Sukkot, the Jewish harvest festival, in a sukkah, which is a temporary structure that they built on the Quad. READ MORE
Students, faculty, and staff celebrate Purim at the Sap!
Colgate in Israel
Colgate students on the extended study trip to Israel, led by Professor Steven Kepnes.
Big Questions Jews Ask is one of our regular opportunities to engage in Jewish learning.
Keep Kosher and Carry On
The Colgate Jewish Union sponsors an annual kosher/halal barbecue with the Muslim Student Association during Spring Party Weekend.
Israel at Colgate
During Israel Night at Frank Dining Hall, students enjoyed Israeli pop music, made their own challah, got their names written in Hebrew and Arabic - and, of course, had a particularly delicious dinner!
Monday morning minyan at the Sap - complete with coffee and donuts!
Visiting Lecturers
Visiting Instructor Jacob Stoil offers some insight into the political career of former Israeli President Shimon Peres, hours before Peres' visit to campus.

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 High Holidays at Colgate

Join us as we celebrate the Jewish New Year!

Rosh Hashanah

Sunday, October 2
Evening Services
6 PM Clark Room, JC Colgate

Dinner to follow
Monday, October 3
Morning Services
10 AM Saperstein Jewish Center

4:30 PM Willow Path Bridge

Tuesday, October 4
Morning Services
10 AM Saperstein Jewish Center

Yom Kippur

Tuesday, October 11
pre-fast dinner, 5:30 PM HOP, JC Colgate

Evening Services
6 PM Clark Room, JC Colgate
Wednesday, October 12
Morning Services
10 AM Saperstein Jewish Center
Afternoon Service
5 PM Saperstein Jewish Center

Ho Atrium
immediately following services

Fall Break and Yom Kippur

As you may have noticed, Yom Kippur begins at the end of Fall Break this year.  Students who choose to remain at home for the holiday and travel back to campus on Thursday will not be penalized for doing so (per Colgate's Religious Holiday Policy), but should inform their professors in advance and are responsible for work missed in class.

The Michael Saperstein Jewish Center

'The Sap' is a focal point for Jewish culture and study at Colgate University.
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.  

Student Organizations

Colgate Jewish Union

A student-led organization which promotes Jewish religious, cultural, and social life and community.

Blue Diamond Society

A Jewish men’s philanthropic, cultural and social organization which seeks to achieve a sense of brotherhood within the Colgate Jewish community by providing an environment for Jewish male students to participate in various tzedakah projects and social gatherings.


Challah for Hunger

Each week, students bake challot to sell in the Coop, with proceeds going to a number of groups which fight hunger locally and world-wide.


Israel Culture Club

The Israel Culture Club brings speakers and events to campus to promote pride in Israel’s heritage and celebrate its diverse culture.


Contact Us

Rabbi Dena Bodian
Assistant University Chaplain and Director of Jewish Life

 13 Oak Drive
Hamilton, NY 13346
(315) 228-7682