Prospective Students

We are excited that you are considering Hamilton College.  Hamilton Hillel is home to a small diverse and family like Jewish community. Please take a minute to tell us about yourself, and we will gladly contact you to discuss in detail any questions or concerns you may have about campus life and Hillel. You can contact us by emailing aguez@hamilon.edu



FAQ for Prospective Students

Q: How many Jewish students are there at Hamilton?
A: Approximately 180-200 of the 1800 undergraduates are Jewish, although it might be even more in recent years.  In the incoming class of 2016, 60 identified themselves as Jewish.   Around 40 students usually attend Shabbat Services and Dinner on Friday nights, and many more people for holiday celebrations and social events.

Q: Is there a kosher food on campus?
A: Every Friday we share a kosher Shabbat dinner cooked by students.  The Mcewan dining hall also has a vegetarian/vegan menu.  During the Passover holiday, we have a large community kosher Seder for two nights. Kosher for Passover meals are available during the entire week of Passover.

Q: What is Shabbat like at Hamilton?
A: We hold services led by Rabbi Aaron every Friday night at 5:30 at the Azel Backus house. Students are also encouraged to lead part of the service. Following services we gather at 6:00 in Azel Backus for Shabbat dinner. Hillel members usually cook Shabbat dinner, but on special occasions we order out from a local Middle Eastern Restaurant. All Shabbat food is kosher.

Q: What about the High Holidays?
A: We hold services on campus throughout both of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur led by a visiting Student Rabbi from The Jewish Theological Seminary in New York.

Q: What kind of events does Hillel have?
A: Hillel holds a variety of cultural events throughout the month. These events include bowling, movie nights, challah baking, Purim parties, Humantachen baking, Sukkah decorating, sleepovers, Bar/Bat Mitzvah parties, Chanukah parties with latke cooking, Israeli Independence party and many others.

Q:What opportunities does Hamilton offer for Jewish studies?
A:  Hebrew is one of the languages required to minor Middle Eastern studies. You can find more about our Hebrew courses.

Hamilton also offers many courses on Judaism as part of its Religious Studies curriculum including:

  • Ancient Jewish Wisdom
  • Modern Jewish Thought
  • Rabbis, Mystics and Philosophers
  • Rise and Fall of David
  • Politics of the Bible