Why More Colleges Want Jewish Students
Inside Higher Ed on Jewish Students in College. Wow have the times changed.
At Chicagoland Jewish High School, “What I’m seeing is, new names are popping up all the time,” says Bruce Scher, the academic dean and director of college counseling.
“Outside of the stereotypical or the standard colleges that already have strong Jewish populations, we’re seeing a lot of other schools recognize the value and recognize the contribution that these students are making to a college campus,” says Scher, who’s also co-chair of the National Association for College Admission Counseling’s special interest group for Jewish students. “Even schools like Knox [College], you know, in central Illinois, they absolutely are connecting to Jewish students.”
College counselors and colleges alike – particularly small liberal arts colleges – are reporting explicit efforts to attract more Jewish applicants or build Jewish student life on campus, or both (since the two goals go hand in hand). For instance, Washington and Lee University, a decidedly Southern-influenced institution in Virginia, has identified “recruiting and supporting Jewish students at W&L” as a fundraising priority, and is constructing a $4 million Hillel House.