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Skidmore College
Religious and Spiritual Life

Jewish Student Life 

**Rosh Hashanah 2021/5782**: New and Returning students: Please note that Orientation and the start of classes for Fall 2021 will overlap with Rosh Hashanah this year**. Rosh Hashanah begins the evening of Monday September 6th and ends the evening of Wednesday September 8th. New first-year and transfer students: sign up now for updates via the ORSL Interest Form or by contacting our Coordinator for Jewish Student Life, Martina Zobel ( We will update you as plans become available. In a "normal" year we have services and celebratory meals on campus in partnership with a local synagogue. As of June 2021 we are planning on hosting on-campus High Holy Days services again this year! Services are in partnership with Temple Sinai of Saratoga Springs and are a unique opportunity for students to join with members of the local Jewish Community. Students can also attend services off-campus and can contact us for assitance with transportation.   The office of the First Year Experience, which is in charge of New Student Orientation, is aware of the overlap of the High Holy Days, Orientation, and the start of the semester and we will be working with our colleagues there and across campus to provide accommodations and schedule adjustments to best welcome (and welcome back!) our Jewish students. Returning students: Updates will be shared via the Hillel and Jewish Student Life email lists and SkidSync. Not sure if you're signed up? You can request to join the Hillel list on their SkidSync page (Skidmore login required) and email Martina Zobel to be added to the Jewish Student Life newsletter list. Class attendance and academic accommodations: See our Holidays and Observances page for information about the College's Conscientious Religious Observance policy and and notifying professors about absences and other requests for accommodation. Students are encouraged to notify instructors as soon as possible about these requests. The Office of Religious and Spiritual Life can assist with navigating this process. 

More about Jewish Student Life at Skidmore College: 

ORSL Interest form for new and incoming students: Sign up for updates relevant to your interests, including Jewish Student Life and related programming -  Interest Form

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 Skidmore's chapter of Challah for Hunger. See SkidSyncfor 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  Challah for Hunger .

Jewish Student Life

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. 

  • Shabbat: Weekly student-led Kabbalat Shabbat services on campus (welcoming Shabbat on Friday evening), 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, andpractice: 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.