Jewish Life at Fordham

Past and Present: Exploring Jewish New York

HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS! Spend a week with us this summer exploring Jewish life in New York City through time (from the mid-1800s to the present) and space (in Manhattan, the Bronx, and Brooklyn). Housing is available.

Learn More about Fordham's Summer Leaders Academy

A Vibrant Community of Students and Scholars

A class meets in Special Collections in the Walsh Library to examine Judaica.

The future of Jewish studies is unfolding at Fordham University at the Center for Jewish Studies, where the study of Jewish history, culture, and traditions is nourished by a diversity of programs and courses, the University’s Catholic and Jesuit identity, and the incomparable resources available in New York City.

Our activities include a minor in Jewish studies; wide-ranging interdisciplinary courses; travel courses to Israel; research fellowships, student-led initiatives such as a book club and reading groups; annual student awards for graduating seniors; paid internships at area museums, libraries, and cultural institutions such as the Derfner Judaica Museum, the Jewish Museum, the Center for Jewish History, and elsewhere; and research collaborations with faculty.

Learn More about the Center for Jewish Studies at Fordham

A Home for Jewish Students

The Jewish Student Organization and Environmental Club give away succulent plants to celebrate the Jewish holiday, Tu BiShvat (the birth of trees)

Looking to grow in your Jewish faith? Want to meet other Jewish students at Fordham.? Then join the Jewish Student Organization – the JSO! A strong and vibrant student community, the JSO honors the cultural and religious traditions of the Jewish community, organizing Shabbat dinners and Jewish holiday celebrations on both the Rose Hill and Lincoln Center campuses. 

It's fun taking part in our regular rituals that we'd be doing at home but doing them with a community of young people. 

We did succulent planting for Tu BiShvat, which is the birth of the trees. Usually you would plant a tree, but of course we can't go plant trees in Central Park. We got succulents, and with the Environmental Club, we had a table where people could pick up a succulent and learn about Tu BiShvat (pictured).

Reyna Stovall, '25, President, JSO at Lincoln Center

Contact the JSO at Lincoln Center Contact the JSO at Rose Hill Contact the Jewish Law Students Association

Information About Local Synagogues

#57 among private colleges and universities

2023 Top 60 Schools by Jewish Student Population, as published in the Hillel College Guide

  • Hillel serves Fordham along with a consortium of NYC colleges and universities. Hillel hosts monthly Shabbatonim during which students spend Shabbat together in different communities, special gatherings around the holidays, Jewish learning fellowships, and volunteer trips. Hillel offers weekly kosher lunches for Fordham students at John Jay College just down the block from Fordham's Lincoln Center campus, other kosher food delivery and pick-up options, and access to mental health services.  
    Chabad of the West Sixties collaborates with the Jewish Law Students Association to host Shabbat dinners and holiday events. The annual Sukkot event is especially popular: undergrad and grad students gather in the Sukkah on the plaza for meals, activities, and learning. 
Sophia Maier

Fordham Undergraduate Receives Grant Funding to Collect Bronx Jewish Oral Histories

Sophia Maier's senior thesis project will live on long after she has graduated from Fordham. Maier, '23, an American Studies major, chose to expand on an oral history project stemming from a Bronx History class she took her junior year. 

"I thought that I'd interview my grandparents and two family friends, all who were Jews born and raised in the Bronx, to see if it was something I'd like to do," said Maier. "I learned so much about these people that I've known for my whole life that I was like, this is important work, this needs to be done." 

Maier received an undergraduate research grant to continue her work the summer between her junior and senior year and collected 35 oral histories from former Bronx Jewish residents. "It was wonderful. I met people on Zoom, traveled around the New York suburbs, even to Florida. But I knew that I shouldn't be the only one to have them"

At Maier's request, Fordham's Center for Jewish Studies has begun the Bronx Jewish Oral History Project and taken Maier on as an intern to continue her work and eventually hand it off to faculty member, Dr. Daniel Soyer who will head the project for the Center.


WATCH: Rediscovering Bronx Jewish History Through Everyday Artifacts

During the first half of the 20th century Judaism was the dominant religion in the Bronx. A yearbook filled with mostly Jewish last names is one of more than 100 pieces in Fordham University's growing Bronx Judaica collection. 

"The idea is to show how Jews lived, not just the formal institution but where they went to a restaurant, what florist they used for a wedding, what meat they bought from a Kosher company,” said Magda Teter, a history and Jewish Studies professor at Fordham.

READ: How a Catholic University Amassed a Treasure Trove of Jewish Artifacts from the Bronx, Jewish Telegraphic Agency