FAQs | Center for Jewish Life
Center for Jewish Life - Princeton Hillel


What does Princeton’s Jewish community look like?

    Princeton’s Jewish community is vibrant and diverse. There are currently 14 student groups under the CJL umbrella, ranging from Challah for Hunger to Koleinu (our CJL a cappella group) to the Muslim-Jewish Dialogue. On a typical Sunday afternoon at the CJL, you can find students playing piano in the Mandelbaum Lounge, studying Talmud in the Beit Midrash, and throwing a football on the back lawn. Our community is comprised of 700 Jewish students from various backgrounds, and the Princeton Jewish community provides students across campus with both meaningful experiences and tons of fun. Student groups and programs are student-driven. Do you have an idea for a new student group? Let us know.

    How do students get involved with the CJL community?

    There are countless ways to get involved with the CJL community! Many students join one of our numerous student groups. Others come to the CJL for Shabbat dinner on Friday nights, and get to know people by hanging out in the Mandelbaum Lounge, where students often hang out and relax. Additionally, students come to the CJL for educational events, study breaks, and to spend time with friends.

    What resources are available for Jewish students through the CJL?

    Our beautiful building has three stories with a library, kosher dining hall, study and lounge spaces, a TV room, and several sanctuaries.  We are located in the center of campus, close to many academic buildings and Frist Campus Center. The dining hall is part of the University meal plan and hundreds of  Jewish and non-Jewish students enjoy the delicious food each week (homemade cookies are among the favorites). The CJL has a dynamic program and educational staff with diverse religious and cultural backgrounds, including Reform, Conservative and Orthodox rabbis. Students are able to use CJL resources in order to help them achieve their goals while at Princeton, whether it be planning a Winter Break trip to Greece or putting on a CJL theater production.

    What is Shabbat like at the CJL?

    Shabbat is the high point of Jewish life at Princeton. Every Friday night, the CJL holds an amazing Shabbat dinner with an average of over 200 students in attendance. Before dinner, there are weekly prayer services (Reform, Conservative, and Orthodox), in addition to other prayer groups that meet every month, such as our partnership minyan. On Shabbat day, students of all backgrounds spend time at the CJL to eat together, go to services, and hang out.