USC has been named among the leading U.S. higher education institutions chosen by Jewish students, according to a new ranking from Reform Judaism magazine.
The fall issue of the publication ranked USC No. 11 among private colleges and universities, based on its undergraduate population, courses offered in Jewish studies, social and religious support and extracurricular opportunities.
To see the complete rankings, go to http://reformjudaismmag.org/fall_2010/collegeguide/
According to the magazine, about 12 percent of USC undergraduates are Jewish. In addition, the USC College has had a formal agreement in place for many years with the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion – which is adjacent to USC’s University Park campus – on shared academic programming, including a bachelor of arts degree in religion with an emphasis in Judaic studies.
The Casden Institute for the Study of the Jewish Role in American Life, which is housed within USC College, supports research that aims to spur dialogue and achieve greater understanding about what it means to be Jewish in America and what it means to be American in a pluralistic society.
USC also hosts the USC Shoah Foundation Institute, originally known as the Survivors of the Shoah Visual History Foundation. The institute, founded by director and longtime USC benefactor and USC Trustee Steven Spielberg, established the institute to gather video testimonies from survivors and other witnesses of the Holocaust.
In January 2006, the institute became part of USC College, where the institute has broadened its mission to overcome prejudice, intolerance and bigotry through the educational use of the institute’s visual history testimonies.
The Office of Religious Life at USC fosters a vibrant university community that encourages the pursuit of meaning through spiritual reflection and free inquiry, provides fair opportunities to participate in religious life, advances mutual understanding and respect among differing traditions – and in all these ways, strengthens the ability of students to actively engage in building a just and peaceful world.
“USC has more student religious groups than any other university in the nation,” said Varun Soni, dean of religious life. “We have about 90 student religious groups on campus, six of them related to the Jewish faith. Our campuses and our neighborhoods are really microcosms of the diverse multi-faith metropolis that is Los Angeles, which is the most religiously diverse city in the world.”
All population figures in the rankings, as well as information concerning fraternities and sororities, Jewish courses and Jewish studies were produced by Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life.