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May 19, 1989 - Image 84

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1989-05-19

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College Guide

Continued from Page 82

taken into account when
evaluating Jewish life at the
school. The Goldbergs felt
that the surrounding Jewish
community acts as a "kind of
support system" for the
students, Lana says. For ex-
ample, George Washington
University, in Washington,
D.C., may not have Orthodox
services on campus, but an
Orthodox synagogue is
within walking distance.
During the course of their
research, the Goldbergs were
surprised to learn that most
kosher dining programs did
not cater exclusively to the
students who chose to keep
the dietary laws. "Every stu-
dent was most concerned with
kosher dining, even Reform
and Conservative students
who didn't keep kosher." The
Goldbergs were also surpris-
ed to find that a vibrant
Jewish community exists on
campuses that were once con-
sidered completely secular in-
- stitutions. Princeton Univer-
sity and many of the Ivy
League schools were once con-
sidered "not very Jewish,"
Lana says. Today, Princeton
has a kosher kitchen and a
daily Orthodox minyan.
At schools that were tradi-
tionally considered "Jewish,"
the Goldbergs found that the
Jewish life was even more ac-
tive than expected. At Bar-
nard College, in New York Ci-
ty, dorms have made provi-
sions for students who prefer
not to carry their room keys
on the Sabbath, (thus obser-
ving a law that forbids them
from carrying anything on
Three schools popular with
Michigan students are
reviewed in the guide:
Michigan State University,
Wayne State University and
the University of Michigan.
About Michigan State, the
Goldbergs write that the
2,500 Jews on campus make
up only 5 percent of the stu-
dent population, two-thirds of
which come from metro-
politan Detroit. "Hillel and
UJA are two of the most ac-
tive groups on campus!' the
Goldbergs say, and "students
are lured away from the books
and into Hillel by the variety
of activities."
The university's Shabbat
services "vary from Reform to
Conservative to Orthodox, "
and nine or 10 students eat
on the kosher dining program
on a daily basis. On Friday
night, from 25 to 40 students
eat there, and 10 or 15 come
for Shabbat lunch.
The Goldbergs conclude
that Michigan State is "a
somewhat acceptable place"
for observant students,
because of the kosher dining
program and orthodox

At Wayne State, only about
5 percent — about 700 —
students are Jewish. The
Goldbergs say the number of
commuters at the university
make it difficult for students
to become involved in ex-
tracurricular activities.
"Nevertheless, Hillel certain-
ly tries to win students over.
"Religious services are
organized only in response to
student demand and vary
from year to year," the
Golbergs add. Approximately
20 students eat weekday lun-
ches on the kosher dining pro-
gram. The Goldbergs also
mention that Wayne State "is
one of the American colleges
with the largest Arab popula-
tion in the country." Overall,
Wayne State is considered
"only a somewhat acceptable
place" for observant students,
due to the lack of religious
services and the limited
kosher dining program.
About University of
Michigan the Goldbergs
write, "This campus has
become widely recognized for
the excellence of its extensive
cultural and educational pro-
gram!' Michigan receives one
of the more positive reviews
in the guide.
The wide variety of ac-
tivities is partially due to the
number of Jewish students on
campus, estimated to be
about 6,000, or 18 percent of
the student body.
The Hillel "is a powerful
force on campus, the Univer-
sity's second largest student
organization." Hillel directs a
forum that brings speakers
like Kurt Vonnegut Jr. and
Joseph Heller to campus, a
weekly film series, and a
theater group. Hillel also
sponsors a chamber music
series and a weekly
An average of 25 students
eat on the kosher meal plan
every day, but many more on
Shabbat. On Friday night,
130 students participate in
the various religious services,
and there is even an Orthodox
daily minyan. All of the
holidays are celebrated on
campus, and Purim is "Ann
Arbor's biggest Jewish party
of the year.
The Goldbergs conclude
that Michigan's Hillel "is tru-
ly a big-time operation."
Observant students "would
find the University of
Michigan a very acceptable
place!' due to the daily ser-
vices and kosher dining

The Jewish Student's Guide
to American Colleges is

available at B.Dalton and
Waldenbooks or through
Shapolsky Publishers, 136
West 22nd St., New York, N.Y.


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