Jewish Life at Gustavus

This page is a guide to some of the resources for Jewish and Jewish-affiliated students on campus.

Don't see what you're looking for? Please reach out!

Jewish Life Faculty

-- Dr. Samuel Kessler (kessler@gustavus.edu), Assistant Professor and Bonnier Chair of Jewish Studies (Department of Religion) & Jewish Life Advisor

(Please scroll down to see a calendar of Jewish events happening on campus this semester.)

Shabbat & Holiday Resources

The Chaplains' Office has resources for students interested in celebrating Shabbat and holidays.


  1. Candles, juice, and copies of the Mishkan T'filah for Gatherings siddur (prayer book) are available in the Bonnier Multifaith Space, along with candlesticks and lighter. Please do not leave candles burning unattended and follow other Multifaith Center guidelines (no food consumed on premises). 
  2. If you would like any of the following to keep for personal use, please contact Dr. Kessler (kessler@gustavus.edu):
    1. A copy of the Koren Shabbat Evening Siddur.
    2. A plastic reusable Kiddush Cup.
  3. For addresses and links for in-person and online Shabbat services, see below. 


  1. A hanukkiyah (menorah) and candles will be available in the Bonnier Multifaith Space. Please do not leave candles burning unattended.


  1. Seders-in-a-box will be offered in the weeks before the holiday. (If you do not receive an email about this, please contact Dr. Kessler (kessler@gustavus.edu) or Dr. Broida (mbroida@gustavus.edu).)
    • Order some or all: Haggadah; paper seder plate & ritual foods; kiddush cup; juice for the 4-cups; matzah. 
  2. For students interested in attending a seder with a host family, please contact Dr. Kessler (kessler@gustavus.edu). 
Religious Services

Many area synagogues are holding virtual Sabbath (Friday evening and Saturday morning) services. Information can be found on the following websites.

Additional virtual resources
  • Hillel @ Home includes resources, programs, hangouts, contests, and virtual gatherings for the Jewish community
  • Romemu (Renewal) hosts streamed Shabbat and Torah studies.
Community resources
Jewish Life Holidays and Events, 2020-2021

The Four Species inside the Gustavus Sukkah Fall 2020

The Chaplains’ Office will be posting information and sponsoring events for the major Jewish holidays.

Dates below are for Academic Year 2021-22 / Jewish Year 5782 [תשפ״ב]

NoteHolidays begin the evening before the first day listed.

September 7-8 Rosh Hashana (Jewish New Year). Details TBA. 
September 16 Yom Kippur
September 21-27 Sukkot. Look for a sukkah on campus.
September 28-29 Shmini Atzeret & Simkhat Torah. 
November 28-December 6 Hanukkah. Join us for candle lighting. Details TBA. 
March 17 Purim. Join us for a reading of the Book of Esther. Details TBA.
April 16-23 Passover. See above for details about seder-in-a-box and/or attending seder with a host family.
April 28 Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Memorial day). Commemoration details TBA.