Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Center for Studies in Jewish Education

Jewish Campus Belonging: Fraternities and Sororities as Jewish Educational Spaces

Despite important progress, campus climates can be unwelcoming to Jewish students or steeped in Christian hegemony that marginalizes their identities. Antisemitism continues to dramatically increase, and Jewish sororities and fraternities are frequent targets of hate and bias. While literature on sense of belonging among Jewish students and appreciative attitudes toward them has somewhat expanded, previous research on the lives of Jewish fraternity and sorority members has taken a narrow, single-campus approach. Jewish Campus Belonging: Fraternities and Sororities as Jewish Educational Spaces is national study examining the identity development of students in Jewish and Jewish-heritage fraternities and sororities and their sense of belonging on campus during this time of heightened antisemitism, using their own voices alongside supporting insights from the professionals who work with them. While the study was developed months ago, the questions that it is pursuing are more pressing than ever.

Jewish Campus Belonging is co-led by Dr. Jenny Small, MCSJE Associate Director, and Professor Pietro Sasso, Delaware State University.

This project is a collaboration between MCSJE, the Timothy J. Piazza Center for Fraternity and Sorority Research and Reform at Penn State University, and the following Jewish and Jewish-heritage organizations: Alpha Epsilon Pi Fraternity, Alpha Epsilon Phi Sorority, Penn State’s local chapter of Beta Sigma Beta, Sigma Delta Tau Sorority, Sigma Alpha Mu Fraternity, and Zeta Beta Tau Fraternity.