Orthodox Life at NYU
With roughly 400 students, NYU has the largest orthodox community of any private secular university. Teeming with programming, the NYU Orthodox community, under the direction of Shalhevet, is proud to provide many daily minyanim and superior learning opportunities.
Shalhevet, the Orthodox Community at NYU
Charged with the mission of sustaining Orthodox life at NYU, Shalhevet is responsible for taking care of all minaynim, learning programs, and social endeavors. With many an event to attend and participate in, Shalhevet member’s calendars are always full.
Shalhevet is run by ten-member board, including two gabbaiim, and works in conjunction with the Bronfman Center to enhance Orthodox Jewish life and promote the community’s inherent warmth and diversity.
The Bronfman Center Brownstone was purchased and renovated by New York University in the early 1990s. The well-preserved facade with elaborate wood detailing was designed by Lockwood De Forest, one of the founding members of the Associated Artists, the decorative arts aetelier he co-founded with Louis Comfort Tiffany and Candace Wheeler in 1879. Inspired by his wedding trip to India, De Forest decorated the facade with low relief teak carvings produced in a Ahmedabad factory, particularly around the building’s main entry and the projecting oriel on the second floor. Widely admired for its decoration and furnishings, in 1900 a writer for House Beautiful called it the “most beautiful Indian House in America.”
Today the Bronfman Center boasts a gallery, several beautiful multi-purpose and prayer spaces, a well stocked Jewish library and place of study, a quaint living-room style space, a student lounge, three balconies, offices, and more.
NYU’s large, active Orthodox community is matched with an inspiring Shabbat experience. Though NYU is close enough for students to make a trip to visit family or friends for the weekend, the minyanim have hundreds of students who stay each week for the inspiring Shabbatot. After services, the community moves to the dining hall for a Shabbat dinner with Zemirot, followed by a short Parsha Shiur (few students make private dinners). When dinner is finished the students go to the Bronfman center for a speaker or entertainer, followed by an Oneg and/or Tisch.
After Shabbat morning Shacharit there is a Kiddush and a Midrash Shiur. While students can eat in the kosher cafeteria, most students host their own meals. This is followed by Mincha, Seudah Shlishit, and some singing as the end of Shabbat approaches. At the end of Shabbat, there is a spiritual communal Havdalah following Maariv.
NYU built an Eruv in 2007 in collaboration with other Manhattan synagogues. The Eruv extends to Stern College, the Upper West Side and Upper East Side.
On campus, the Kosher Cafeteria in the basement of the Weinstein dormitory is open daily 11:30am-7:30pm. It is an all-you-can-eat meal plan offered as one of NYU’s meal options. The Caf also hosts large Shabbat dinners.
Additionally, NYU benefits from the many kosher establishment from around the New York City area. Many Midtown kosher restaurants deliver to the NYU area for a minimal charge.
Housing at NYU
Most first year Orthodox undergraduate students live in Weinstein Hall, which houses the Kosher Cafeteria, and is located at the center of NYU’s campus. Most sophomores live in residence halls, though many juniors and seniors choose to live in apartments. Most live within 15 minutes walking distance, though some seniors live on the Upper West Side.