lmu jsl about jewish student life

Contact Jewish Student Life

Phone: (310) 568-6131

Email: zachary.zysman@lmu.edu

Office: Malone Student Center 201

JSL Office Hours

Monday 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday 8:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Thursday 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM

JSL Mission

Jewish Student Life is a nexus for Jewish life on LMU’s campus, committed to building and strengthening the Jewish community by maximizing access points for Jewish engagement. Working closely with the student club Hillel, with the Jewish Studies Program, with Campus Ministry and other areas of the Student Affairs, Jewish Student Life provides opportunities for connection, collaboration and growth through religious, cultural, intellectual and social justice programming.

JSL Vision

While creating a community in which Jewish students can celebrate their Jewish identity, Jewish Student Life also seeks to build bridges between all faith-based communities at LMU, embodying the third tenet of the LMU mission, the service of faith and the promotion of Justice.

lmu jewish student life zachary zysman rabbi
Zachary Zysman, Rabbi

Meet the Staff

Zachary Zysman, Rabbi

Since 2002, Rabbi Zachary Zysman has dedicated his life to Jewish education. He holds an undergraduate degree in child and adolescent development from San Francisco State University and a master’s degree in human development from Pacific Oaks College.

Zysman also has two additional master’s degrees in Hebrew letters and Jewish Education from Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion in Los Angeles, the same location where he received his rabbinic ordination in May 2016.

FAQs About LMU's Jewish Student Life

How many Jewish students are there at LMU?

The Jewish community comprises about 3.5-4% of LMU's undergraduate community, which translates into 200-250 students.

Where is the Hillel building?

We are what Hillel international calls a "small and mighty" campus, which is a model in which there is a small but active Jewish population, but no building. However, you can get more information in EIS on the 3rd floor of the Malone Student Center. Our Jewish holidays and Shabbat programs are celebrated all over campus – so in terms of programming, the whole campus serves as our Hillel building!

Is it hard to be Jewish at LMU, since it's a Catholic school?

Not at all. The university is deeply rooted in its Catholic intellectual values, and part of that is the celebration of a diversity of faiths. This fosters not only a welcoming environment for all faiths, but a culture of curiosity amongst its students, excited to explore and celebrate faiths other than theirs.

Is mass a requirement?

No. As a Jesuit school, all significant moments at LMU are marked by mass, but attendance is never required. However, when Jewish students attend mass, they do not find it an alienating experience. Rather, students are able to support their Catholic friends in their tradition and learn about a different expression of faith.

Are there required courses on Catholicism?

No. There are two required classes in our Theological Studies department, but students can choose from any of the classes offered. These include Introduction to the Hebrew Bible and World Religions.

Is there anti-semitism on campus?

Like any college, we have isolated bias incidents, and on occasion these have been directed toward the Jewish community. In these situations, the University takes these incidents very seriously and makes it clear that such behavior is neither accepted nor tolerated here. However, this has in no way inhibited our students- Jewish students are proud and vocal about their Judaism; they feel totally comfortable celebrating their Judaism.

Is there kosher food available on campus?

Our cafeteria has many vegan and vegetarian options, as well as packaged and frozen food with a Heksher (kosher certification). All of the Hillel programs and Holidays are catered by a certified Kosher caterer. Additionally, there is a Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf cart located on campus with many kosher certified snacks.