Jewish Student Life
New students (and returning students who want to connect!): Fill out the ORSL Interest Form to connect, ask questions, or sign up for updates about Jewish student life, interfaith projects, clubs, holidays, and more. Note that over the summer our staff is on a limited schedule, so responses may be delayed. Email email@example.com or contact the Coordinator of Jewish Student Life, Martina Zobel, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Save the Date! Fall 2023 Events and Reminders:
More events and information to come! Look for posters on campus and watch for email updates if you have signed up for one of our mailing lists):
- August/September: Request accommodations (excused absences, etc) from your professors, supervisors and coaches: If you will be out of class or your student job on Yom Kippur or for any other religious observance you should start that process as soon as you know your schedule. Not sure how to do this or what to ask for? See our Holidays and Observances Section
- First week of September: Jewish Student Life, Hillel, and Challahmore tabling: Come say hello, sign up for updates, and pick up a treat or some swag. There will be tables at New Student Orientation and Club Fair.
- Throughout the Semester: Shabbat Services and Dinners, Havdalah, Challah bakes, Brunch programs, and more
- September 15-17: Rosh Hashanah: Erev Rosh Hashanah dinner, on campus services and access to off-campus services, and Tashlich
- September 24-25: Yom Kippur: On campus services, access to off-campus services, Breaking of the Fast, and opportunities to step away from the bustle of campus
- September 26-28: Help build the Sukkah: : Help build and decorate our Sukkah on Case Green!
- September 28: Comedy for Peace: Jewish, Muslim, and Christian Comedians, 7pm in Filene Auditorium, part of Saratoga Peace WEek
- September 29-October 6: Sukkot: Music, meals, services and more in the Sukkah throughout the festival
- Fall Retreat: Date TBA, off-campus retreat and shabbaton, a chance to connect with other Jewish students and take a break from campus
- Hanukkah: Evening of December 7 - evening of December 15: Candle lighting, food, study breaks (it will be exam week!), and more
Arriving early for OP Academic Institute, athletics, leadership training, pre-Orientation, etc? Let us know if you would like to celebrate Shabbat or otherwise connect with Jewish Student Life and other students and we will help you out.
What to Expect: Students at Skidmore connect to Jewish Life in a wide variety of ways. Some become active in our clubs, including Hillel and Challahmore. Others just stop by now and then for a Shabbat gathering. Some are particularly passionate about social justice and tikkun olam projects or helping to plan events that raise awareness about Judaism and Jewish Culture. During the academic year Shabbat services take place at 5:15 on Friday evenings, usually at Wilson Chapel (be sure you're signed up with us to get updates about locations and sign-ups for events!). Shabbat dinners are at 6:30pm, usually on the second floor of the Dining Hall. Havdalah gatherings take place at least once each month. Can't join us in person but want some challah and juice, or even some (residence hall- approved electric) candles for your own welcoming of Shabbat? Grab a Shabbat bag! Bags will be available most Friday afternoons at the tables in Case Center or contact us to request one.
More about Jewish Student Life at Skidmore College:
Jewish Student Life at Skidmore is rich and varied. Below are examples of just some of the ways of getting involved. Questions? Ideas for new programs or gatherings? Want to get involved? Come to an event, reach out to one of our clubs, or contact Martina Zobel, Coordinator for Jewish Student Life.
- Clubs: Skidmore College supports student-led clubs with a wide range of interests. Students who do not find the club they are looking for are encouraged to talk to our staff about creating new programming or starting new groups. Current clubs related to Jewish Student Life include Skidmore Hillel and Challamore. See SkidSync for more information (Skidmore login required for full access) or contact our office and check out the Instagram pages for a look at what they've been up to: Skidmore Hillel and Challahmore .
- Tikkun Olam: Events, awareness campaigns, and fundraising efforts to address needs locally and globally. Topics include food insecurity, homelessness, health access, and more.
- Shabbat: Weekly student-led Shabbat services on campus, Shabbat dinners with candle lighting and blessings, opportunities to attend off-campus services, and Havdalah gatherings to close out Shabbat and turn to the new week.
- High Holy Days: pre-Rosh Hashanah programming including shofar blowing during Elul, on-campus services in partnership with Temple Sinai of Saratoga Springs, celebratory meals, support for students fasting on Yom Kippur, and more!
- Sukkot: Building and decorating a Sukkah on Case Green in the center of campus, fun and enriching events throughout the holiday including meals, discussions, and music in the Sukkah
- Retreats and Shabbatons: Multi-day immersive experiences to build connections with peers and explore Jewish identity, culture, and practice, and to just have fun and take a break from the hard work of the semester.
- Jewish history, culture, and practice: from weekly events like "Tea, Text, Torah" discussions, to invited speakers, to cooking demonstrations, there are many ways for students to engage with a wide range of topics related to Jewish life and culture.
- Hanukkah, Tu Bishvat, Purim, Lag B'Omer, and more! - In addition to the "bigger" holidays we often have events and programming (and food!) to mark Jewish observances throughout the year.
- Passover: Seder gatherings, chametz-free options in the Dining Hall and at events, movie nights, and more
- Interfaith and cross-cultural engagement: Partnerships with other religious and cultural clubs to host gatherings, collaborate on service projects, and raise awareness about religious and cultural diversity at Skidmore and beyond.
- Leadership opportunities: Whether it's leading services or planning Tikkun Olam projects or finding internships with Jewish organizations there are many ways students can get involved as emerging leaders.