We welcome you to the home of Jewish life at Williams and the official website for the Williams College Jewish Association!
The mission of the Williams College Jewish Association (WCJA, pronounced [wick-djuh]) is to provide a space modeling the richness and diversity of Judaism and Jewishness, to foster a community of plurality and acceptance and to provide opportunities for Jewish involvement in the community.
For any questions, please reach out to Rabbi Seth Wax, the Jewish Chaplain, at [email protected].
Below are a few frequently asked questions regarding WCJA.
How many Jewish students are there at Williams?
Approximately 200 students, that’s just about 10% of the 2000 undergraduates, identify as Jewish.
I’m not very religious. Will I still find a place in WCJA?
Yes! It doesn’t matter how observant you are or what “being Jewish” means to you, you are welcome in WCJA. We aim to host events and gatherings that appeal to all Jewish students on campus. WCJA is a pluralistic Jewish organization that hosts many cultural and educational activities along with religious events. Our main goal is to create a strong Jewish community on campus.
I come from an observant Jewish background. Will I find my place at WCJA?
Yes! It is not hard to keep kosher at Williams and keeping Shabbat is not a problem. WCJA hosts Shabbat services, dinner, and lunch.
It is also possible to set up Shabbat-friendly dorm access, and the library is a great place to partake in serious Jewish learning. WCJA also celebrates all Jewish holidays and professors understand that observant students may need extensions during the holiday seasons. (Check out the College’s religious holidays policy here).
Is there kosher food on campus?
The Jewish Religious Center has a kitchen that is kosher under the supervision of the Jewish Chaplain, Rabbi Seth Wax. Weekly Shabbat dinners are prepared in the kitchen by students trained in kashrut, and the kitchen is available for more regular use to those who would like to do so. During weekday lunch, the Fresh & Go station at Whitman’s dining hall has kosher deli sandwiches. For Passover, the kitchen is kashered so that all those observing can eat meals throughout the holiday.