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Jewish Life

Jewish Life at Macalester

Jewish life at Macalester is rich and varied, rooted in the interests and growing skills of the current student Jewish community, keeping kindness and connection at the center.  Students create and lead the campus Jewish community through Macalester Jewish Organization (MJO), and are supported by Rabbi Emma Kippley-Ogman and the Center for Religious and Spiritual Life (CRSL).  Listen to Rabbi Emma Kippley-Ogman kibbitz for 10 minutes about Jewish Life at Macalester (Summer 2023) in the Being Jewish in College video series with Dana Ponsky.  Jewish life at Macalester is always evolving, shaped by the 180+ students who make it their home.

Shabbat & Holidays

  • Songful student-led Shabbat services and student-prepared Shabbat dinner: Fridays at 6pm in the CRSL (twice monthly)
  • High Holiday services and meals for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur
  • Tashlich hike and campus sukkah
  • Passover seder open to the campus community & student-run Passover kitchen
  • Holiday celebrations for Hanukkah & Tu BiShvat



  • Weekly MJO gatherings in a residence hall lounge
  • Monthly Challah for Hunger bake and sale

Special Workshops

  • In spring 2019, 13 students participated in an on-campus Tzedek Institute with Jewish Community Action, learning the skills of community organizing in a Jewish context.
  • In spring 2021, nine students participated in a semester-long songful prayer leading workshop with a Mac alum who is a musician and rabbinical student, looking towards dynamic in-person services in fall 2021.
  • Beginning fall 2021, ten Jewish students, faculty, and staff at Macalester will join three other colleges as part of the National Coalition Building Institute’s second pilot cohort around building a coalition-building approach to campus antisemitism.

Local Centers

Wondering about campus climate for Jewish students?

The climate for Jewish students on campus is positive, with opportunities for learning and constructive dialogue about Israel/Palestine – several related student organizations draw Macalester students’ activism and engagement. Jewish life has seen a significant number of its recent Macalester alums become Rabbis and Jewish communal leaders post-graduation.

Wondering about keeping kosher at Macalester?

Cafe Mac is the only Macalester dining hall and has abundant vegetarian/vegan options. Students who have questions about kashrut or would like support for dietary practices are welcome to contact Rabbi Emma ([email protected]) or the CRSL ([email protected]).

Supporting Macalester’s Jewish Community

Would you like to support Macalester’s Jewish community?  Here is a way you can donate to the Center for Religious and Spiritual Life and designate it to Jewish life.  The St. Paul Jewish Federation makes a yearly contribution to help support Jewish programming and holiday celebrations on campus.