Religious Life - Jewish Life Skip Navigation

Jewish Life at Colgate

At Colgate, Jewish life is student-run. 
Soferet Demo
Soferet (ritual scribe) Linda Coppleson demonstrates how to fix a Torah scroll at the Saperstein Jewish Center.
Sukkot on the Quad
Students are celebrating Sukkot, the Jewish harvest festival, in a sukkah, which is a temporary structure that they built on the Quad. READ MORE
Students, faculty, and staff celebrate Purim at the Sap!
Colgate in Israel
Colgate students on the extended study trip to Israel, led by Professor Steven Kepnes.
Big Questions Jews Ask is one of our regular opportunities to engage in Jewish learning.
Keep Kosher and Carry On
The Colgate Jewish Union sponsors an annual kosher/halal barbecue with the Muslim Student Association during Spring Party Weekend.
Israel at Colgate
During Israel Night at Frank Dining Hall, students enjoyed Israeli pop music, made their own challah, got their names written in Hebrew and Arabic - and, of course, had a particularly delicious dinner!
Monday morning minyan at the Sap - complete with coffee and donuts!
Visiting Lecturers
Visiting Instructor Jacob Stoil offers some insight into the political career of former Israeli President Shimon Peres, hours before Peres' visit to campus.

From event-planning to leading Shabbat services, building the sukkah to cooking Shabbat dinner each week, students are empowered to create meaningful religious and social programs which enrich their experience both as scholars and as Jews.

We also provide High Holiday services, build a sukkah on the main academic quad, light an eight-foot chanukiyah, and have a week-long kosher co-op during Passover, in addition to providing sedarim for over 150 students.  We've also recently instituted an egalitarian Monday morning minyan.

Passover at Colgate

Join us as we celebrate the Festival of Freedom!
First Seder
Friday, April 3
5 PM Parker Commons

Second Seder
Saturday, April 4
6 PM Saperstein Jewish Center

Our kosher-for-Passover Co-op will be open
throughout the week of Passover
     Lunch 11-1 PM
     Dinner 5-7 PM

Please email Rabbi Dena Bodian
to reserve your spot!
bread and wine

The Michael Saperstein Jewish Center

'The Sap' is a focal point for Jewish culture and study at Colgate University.
The Saperstein Jewish Center, commonly referred to as “The Sap” is a focal point for Jewish study, worship, and culture on our campus. This small but dynamic space houses everything from Friday night services to Monday night football, High Holiday services to challah-baking extravaganzas!

"The Sap" houses our sanctuary, a library of several hundred volumes, a classroom where several Jewish Studies courses are held, and both meat and dairy kosher kitchens. It also has computer workstations, a huge flat-screen TV and DVD player, and a Wii, as well as great couches —making it a fantastic space to do homework or just hang out.  

Student Organizations

Colgate Jewish Union

A student-led organization which promotes Jewish religious, cultural, and social life and community.

Blue Diamond Society

A Jewish men’s philanthropic, cultural and social organization which seeks to achieve a sense of brotherhood within the Colgate Jewish community by providing an environment for Jewish male students to participate in various tzedakah projects and social gatherings.


Challah for Hunger

Each week, students bake challot to sell in the Coop, with proceeds going to a number of groups which fight hunger locally and world-wide.


Israel Culture Club

The Israel Culture Club brings speakers and events to campus to promote pride in Israel’s heritage and celebrate its diverse culture.


Contact Us

Rabbi Dena Bodian
Assistant University Chaplain and Director of Jewish Life

 13 Oak Drive
Hamilton, NY 13346
(315) 228-7682