Jewish Life

Coordinator

Joan Larsen - jlarsen@stlawu.edu

General Information

Jewish students make up approximately 4-6% of the student body. St. Lawrence University, along with State University of New York at Potsdam, Clarkson University, and State University of New York at Canton, comprise the Four College Hillel organization, providing programming and activities throughout the academic year. Congregation Beth El in Potsdam welcomes all community members to Friday night services and Jewish holiday observances, including those for the High Holy Days.

On campus there is a Jewish Student Union offering a variety of activities celebrating Jewish life over the course of the academic year. These events are open to all and include a very popular Bagel Brunch during Family Weekend, a Chanukah party with the candle-lighting of many menorahs and latkes to eat, a Tu B’Shevat seder, a Purim party where we read the Megillah while eating hamentaschen, and a Passover seder that is a high point of our year.

Funding for these events comes from the Chaplain’s Office budget as St. Lawrence has a commitment to support activities for all religions. The University also has an endowment from the Polin Fund that provides monies to support the acquisition of books and electronic media on Jewish subjects for the Owen D. Young Library. The Polin Fund also supports an annual lectureship, The Rabbi Seymour Siegel Memorial Lecture, that over the years has brought major speakers to campus to present talks on a variety of subjects of Jewish interest.

Joan Larsen, our Coordinator of Jewish Life, is happy to answer any questions and provide other information. Her e-mail address is  jlarsen@stlawu.edu.