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.
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. In the 2021-2022 year we celebrated the ability to have more in-person dinners and gatherings. During the academic year Shabbat services continue at 5:15 on Friday evenings - either at Wilson Chapel or Falstaff's (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, usually on the first Saturday of the month. Can't join us in person but want some challah and juice, or even some 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.
High Holy Days
Listen for the sound of the shofar blowing from the center of campus in the days before Rosh Hashanah! Services for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur will be available on campus in partnership with Temple Sinai of Saratoga. These are wonderful opportunities for Skidmore students, staff, and faculty to join with a local congregation. Invitations to RSVP for meals and services will be shared widely via campus posters and emails to students signed up with our office or one of our partner clubs. Want to be sure you'll receive those updates? Fill out the ORSL Interest Form! Looking to attend services with a specific community or tradition in the Saratoga area? We can help with connecting and transportation. We can also assist with requests for academic accommodations if you need to miss classes for these or other observances. We recommend starting this process as early as possible at the start of the semester with your instructors, supervisors, and coaches.
Students build a sukkah every year on Case Green, right in the center of campus. Events are held throughout the holiday this year will culminate with the Skidmore Celebration Weekend when families and friends will be invited to come by the sukkah and join in the festivities.
There is a lot in store for the fall semester, including speakers and workshops, service projects, a retreat, and some fun outings and gatherings. Check it out and help shape Jewish life at Skidmore.
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.