The Ivy Coach Daily

April 28, 2024

Jewish Students at Princeton University: Population, Community, and More

Whig Hall, home to the American Whig-Cliosophic Society, is featured beyond a lawn at Princeton University.
As of 2024, there are approximately 500 Jewish undergraduates at Princeton (photo credit: Andreas Praefcke).

Previously Published on November 12, 2014:

As neither The Common Application nor the Princeton University supplement asks applicants to identify their religion, Princeton’s admissions officers cannot know with certainty how many Jewish students they admit annually. Of course, some students include activities and essays that offer insight into their faith, but not all. So, what’s the size of Princeton’s Jewish population?

The Size of Princeton’s Jewish Population

According to Hillel, there are approximately 500 Jewish undergraduates at Princeton, comprising about 9.6% of the undergraduate student body. In addition, about 250 Jewish graduate students are enrolled at Princeton, comprising about 7.9% of the graduate student body.

Of course, these numbers are estimates. Hillel can’t know with certainty how many Jewish students attend Princeton since some Jewish students don’t share that information with the school. However, we have seen Jewish representation fall slightly in recent years — from a high of about 13% of Princeton’s undergraduate student body.

The Jewish Student Community at Princeton

Princeton is home to the Center for Jewish Life (CJL), which houses the school’s Hillel, offering Reform, Conservative, and Orthodox services. The school also has an all-Kosher dining hall, with food options available to students at no additional charge. Nineteen meals, including Shabbat dinners, are served weekly at the Kosher dining hall. In addition, Jewish Studies is offered as a minor to undergraduates.

Saluting Princeton’s Administration for Protecting Jewish Students When Other Schools Failed

In the spring of 2024, with antisemitism rising on American college campuses in the wake of the October 7, 2023 Hamas terrorist attack against Israel and the ensuing war in Gaza, protests and unlawful encampments popped up on the campuses of multiple Ivy League schools, notably Columbia University and Yale University. These encampments and protests, abounding in hatred toward Jews, have led to some of the scariest times in the history of American higher education for Jewish students. Indeed, these days have been among the darkest days in the Ivy League’s centuries-long history.

On April 24, 2024, when word spread that some members of the Princeton community were considering forming their own unlawful encampment to protest the Israeli response to the Hamas terrorist attack, Princeton’s administration warned the community that any such acts would be deemed criminal trespassing and, as such, students would be arrested and face college disciplinary action. As of April 25, 2024, no such encampments or significant protests have surfaced. Like Dartmouth College, we at Ivy Coach give high marks to Princeton administrators for their response.

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