About Us

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. 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 for enrolled Duke students through Jewish Life at Duke and Duke Dining. For additional details about Kosher dining, the Freeman Center Cafe menu, and how to order, click here.

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

Visiting as a prospective student or family member? 

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.

How to Reserve a Space

The spaces in the Freeman Center can be reserved by emailing: fcevents@duke.edu. Once you request one of the spaces, a Conference and Event Services (CES) staff member will reach out within 5-7 business days to talk through your event needs. CES staff will help do the behind the scenes work to ensure your event is just as you imagined.

Please note: The Freeman Center is available for rental by Duke departments only; space rental is not available to outside groups at this time.


The standard setup for the Sanctuary is theater style for 125 people (chairs in rows only). Other setups with prior approval:

  • Banquet: 48 people (six rounds of 8)
  • Standing reception: 65 people

The standard setup for Scharf Commons is an open space. This area can be setup a variety of other ways (reception with cocktail tables, exhibit hall) but prior approval must be received first.

  • Standing Reception - 175 people

Scharf Commons and the Dining Room can be rented together and the entire building can be rented in 4 or 8 hour blocks.

The standard setup for the dining room is 25 round tables with 8 chairs for 200 people. Other setups with prior approval are:

  • Standing Reception: 350 people
  • Theater style: 300 people

Scharf Commons and the Dining Room can be rented together and the entire building can be rented in 4 or 8 hour blocks.

There is an exterior paved patio on the lower level that can be used for a variety of events. The standard setup is with 15 tables-for-two and chairs that can be cleared for an additional fee.

Catering Policy

The Freeman Center is home to Durham’s only Kosher catering kitchen and is also a great option for halal, vegetarian and vegan diners. In the Sanctuary and Scharf Commons, all outside food must be vegetarian and approved by the venue. If the caterer is dropping off food and not staying for the event it is your responsibility to ensure all food and trash has been removed. *Alcohol of any kind if not permitted anywhere in the Freeman Center* Approved caterers include Duke Dining and Duke Dining’s vendors only.

Pricing and Additional Information

For information on pricing, vendors, facility policies, and FAQs, click below:

The Story of the Freeman Center.

Discover the story of those who wanted a space on campus for Jewish students, faculty and staff to call home. Read how the Freeman Center came to be here.