The six-pointed Star of David is based on the shape of David’s shield, or, perhaps, the symbol on his shield. This refers to King David of ancient Israel. Jews call it a Magen David, meaning “shield of David.” Some scholars have attributed theological significance to the symbol - for example, that the intertwining makes the triangles inseparable, like the Jewish people - but there are multiple opinions on its meaning.


Helpful staff at the Joseph Slifka Center for Jewish Life at Yale include Uri Cohen, Jason Rubenstein, Juli Goodman, Yotam Wolk, Isaama Goldstein-Stoll, Alex Ozar, and Benjamin Laufer.   For a full directory, please visit our web site at www.slifkacenter.org .

Faith Community:

Yale Hillel is the undergraduate organization for the Jewish community. We are located at Joseph Slifka Center for Jewish Life at Yale on 80 Wall Street.  We offer programming, service & travel opportunities, and a strong community to anyone who wants to get involved. We encourage students to identify with their Judaism in many different ways, from religious life to social events. Take a look around the Slifka Center website and the Hillel page for more information about what we do, or come visit us!

Yale’s Jews in New Haven (JiNH) community provides events for graduate students and young professionals, their partners, and their spouses.  We support targeted social programs both at Slifka and around campus, as well as discounted meal opportunities for non-meal-plan students.

Young Israel House at Yale (YIHY) is the student organization responsible for Orthodox student life on campus. We provide support, programming, and learning opportunities to the observant community, as well as reaching out to the greater Jewish population at Yale.

Eli’s Mispacha seeks to bring together Jewish alumni from Yale College, Graduate, and Professional Schools. For more info, please click here.

Yale’s Jewish Alumni Group - Eli’s Mishpacha connects alumni and families to Jewish campus life, and fosters student-alumni networking and mentorship.


Religion and Spirituality - We have 4 active, student-led minyanims: Orthodox, Partnership, Egal/Conservative and Reform. We also offer Shabbat dinner and services, a wide variety of High Holiday services, and pastoral counseling and spiritual guidance for students. Moreover, we have a community Break Fast, Hanukkah Banquet, multiple Passover Seders and other Jewish Holiday services and celebrations. 

Slifka Dining – The Lindenbaum Kosher Kitchen in Heyman Commons, Yale’s official Jewish Dining Room, is central to our operations and outreach. We are open seven days a week during the academic year.

Arts, Culture and Intellectual Life - Gallery exhibits, artist talks, films, forums, lectures and symposiums on a variety of topics.

Social Justice  - With a foundation of Jewish teaching concerning the pursuit of justice and the mandate to repair the world (Tikkun Olam), we offer hands-on service opportunities and learning.

Israel Programming – We support student groups across the political and cultural spectrum, with formal and informal education, dialogue, advocacy, Israel travel and more.

Slifka Classes –Text Study, and classes in Jewish Rituals, Jewish Philosophy, and more senior seminars are offered each semester; other classes available upon request

Travel Opportunities – In addition to organized trips, including Birthright, Slifka offers a variety of research and travel grants for students exploring Jewish themes, history, culture and Israel.

For additional details on the programs offered at Slifka Center, please visit their website.

Sacred Space:

Slifka Center is among the premiere campus Jewish centers in the world, with the capacity to offer programs of creativity, breadth, depth and centrality to campus life.  There are two chapels, one Kosher Kitchen dining hall, three libraries, several lounges and galleries all under one roof housing a pluralistic and vibrant faith community.