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About Us

Our Mission

The mission of Jewish Life at Duke is to empower Jewish students to learn and grow intellectually and spiritually; to inspire and nurture personal paths to Jewish identity; and to cultivate community and friendship.

The Hub of All Things Jewish on Campus

Located at the corner of Campus Drive and Swift Avenue on Duke's Central Campus, the Freeman Center for Jewish Life opened its doors in 1999.

Jewish Life at Duke is the hub for all things Jewish on Duke’s campus. An accredited Hillel as well as a department within Duke University’s Division of Student Affairs, Jewish Life at Duke is guided by a mission to empower Jewish students to learn and grow intellectually and spiritually; to inspire and nurture personal paths to Jewish identity; and to cultivate community and friendship.

Comprising the Freeman Center for Jewish Life and the Rubenstein-Silvers Hillel, JLD takes a pluralistic approach to Judaism to ensure that all Jewish students, regardless of affiliation, are welcome and included.

Students study, hold meetings, and hang out in classrooms, the Sassower library, Tabak Family Commons area, or in the Paresky lounge, which includes an e-print station and many games.

Shabbat and Holiday services are held upstairs in the Levenson-Lerner Sanctuary, which also doubles as an event space.

The Freeman Center is also home to the Freeman Center Cafe, a kosher dining establishment, and is a resource for halal, vegetarian, and vegan diners throughout the community. Kosher dining is available at the Freeman Center for Jewish Life through Jewish Life at Duke and Duke Dining.

Our Vision

A Duke Jewish experience where every student finds meaning, connection, and joy, and therefore makes an enduring commitment to Jewish life. 

The Rubenstein-Silvers Hillel

We often get asked, "Is there a Hillel at Duke?" The answer is yes, it’s us! The Rubenstein-Silvers Hillel, a part of Jewish Life at Duke (JLD), is accredited by Hillel International and has even been selected for several prestigious Hillel International initiatives. One thing that makes JLD unique is that in addition to being a fully accredited Hillel, it is also a department within the division of Student Affairs of Duke University. This means JLD benefits from the best of both worlds—simultaneous support from two major institutions committed to JLD’s future and success.  


The Story of the Freeman Center

Staff smile at student event

Discover the story of those who wanted a space on campus for Jewish students, faculty and staff to call home. 

"The reasons we’ve all worked so hard for this day are standing right here before us: first, the Jewish students for whom the CJL will be a welcome home; then, the Jewish faculty and staff who will also find a sense of community here, and a place to meet with students; and finally, the larger Jewish community of the Research Triangle, for whom the CJL will be another rich resource.”

-Judith Ruderman, PhD ’76 at the Dedication Ceremony of the Freeman Center for Jewish Life, 1999


Stay on Top of What's Happening at JLD

There are several ways that you can plug into JLD and remain informed about news, events, opportunities and more.

Annual Report

The Annual Report highlights the impact made on Duke's Jewish community each year thanks to the support of Jewish Life at Duke's donors, volunteers and advocates. Read our Annual Reports below:

 Please note: the Honor Roll listing of donors acknowledges gifts made in the corresponding fiscal year (July 1 - June 30). To learn more about supporting Jewish Life at Duke with a donation, click here.


Contact Us

Physical Address:

The Freeman Center for Jewish Life
Box 90936
1415 Faber St
Durham, NC 27708

Mailing Address for Donations:

Jewish Life at Duke
Alumni & Development Records
Duke University
Box 90581
Durham, NC 27708

E-mail: jewishlife@duke.edu
Phone: (919) 684-6422
Fax:  (919) 684-6451

Freeman Center for Jewish Life at Duke University


Plan A Visit

The Freeman Center for Jewish Life is open for drop-in visits and tours Monday-Friday 9am-5pm when classes are in session, and on an abbreviated schedule during the summer. You can also contact us at jewishlife@duke.edu to let us know you're coming.