Spectrum | Aug. 21 4:30 pm EST

Jewish mag ranks Columbia 10th among Chosen People

Columbia placed fourth in the infamous U.S. News rankings. But Jews are holding us to a higher standard.

The latest issue of Reform Judaism Magazine (yes, that’s a real magazine) has a ranking of the Jewiest schools (PDF).

“Oy!” you might say. We’ve got this in the bag. But on this list, Columbia is actually ranked lower than it is by U.S. News. What a religious revelation!

Among private universities, Columbia is #10, right after Tulane. Tulane!? The number one spot goes to N.Y.U., followed by B.U. and, expectedly, Yeshiva University. Reform Judaism Magazine calls this “The Top 60 Schools Jews Choose,” and uses criteria (provided by Hillel) such as Jewish population, the number of Jewish courses offered, and whether there’s a Jewish Studies Major. A sidebar listing of the top 20 schools by percentage of Jews puts Barnard at #6. But Columbia doesn’t even make the cut. I’m kvetching!

On the private school ranking, Yale comes in below Columbia (aha, at last!) at #19. But, oddly, Yale is #20 on that sidebar listing—the one Columbia doesn’t appear in.

Brandeis, a University recognized for its Jewiness, is ranked #15. (This is the school Alvy Singer mentioned when reducing his first wife to a cultural stereotype: “You, you, you’re like New York, Jewish, left-wing, liberal, intellectual, Central Park West, Brandeis University, the socialist summer camps and the, the father with the Ben Shahn drawings, right, and the really, y’know, strike-oriented kind of, red diaper, stop me before I make a complete imbecile of myself.”) As much as I’m proud to see Columbia win at something, I couldn’t help but think Brandeis should have beaten us here.

And so, on this Shabbat, we are reminded of two things. One: Columbia is a Jewy place, but it could be Jewier. Two: College rankings are fakokta.




  1. anon • August 21, 2010 at 4:54 pm • Reply

    I love how Barnard isn’t on the list by school quality, but then is in the top ten for total percentage of student population.


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  2. Goy • August 21, 2010 at 7:43 pm • Reply

    These aren’t rankings. It just lists the schools by absolute number of Jewish students. NYU is a really fucking big school, so it has the most Jewish students, even though it doesn’t have a terribly high percentage of Jewish students. Brandeis is 50% Jewish students, but it’s a tiny school so it has a low number in the list. This has nothing to do with school quality or even the impact of Jewish culture on campus. It’s utterly meaningless, since it doesn’t account for varying school sizes!

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  3. Anonymous • August 21, 2010 at 11:06 pm • Reply

    Goy vs Oy! It’s on!

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  4. These aren't overall rankings • August 22, 2010 at 4:11 am • Reply

    How did you miss this: This is only ranking them by total number of students…

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  5. CU Alum • August 23, 2010 at 2:11 pm • Reply

    The list says Columbia only has 25 “Jewish courses”. Really? I haven’t checked, but that number sounds suspiciously low.

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  6. Anonymous • August 25, 2010 at 8:51 pm • Reply

    Props on the Annie Hall reference

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  7. THE SITUATION • August 25, 2010 at 9:01 pm • Reply

    THE SITUATION: It’s 6:47AM…. Ashley Goldberg, a sales executive at IBM calls you and tells you that they will be releasing their earning reports and she faxes over “insider information”. It’s now 7:10AM. 2 hours from Market Open. Keith Markowitz, an investment banker at Goldman Sachs calls you and asks you about buying up his account. Your collegue, Matthew Katzen-Rosen, a fellow trader at JP Morgan, walks over and asks about the July 17 put options and the September 12 call options. Your boss, Larry Rosen-Stein pings your Blackberry about putting in a bid for 500,000 shares of IBM and asks about the insider info. You tell your VP, Amanda Levinovitz, that your group can scalp about $4.5 Million on this one trade, $3 to the dollar, peddle to the floor. Mrs. Levinovitz gives you the green light to enter the trade. You alone will receive $850,000 in bonus money. Not bad for a day’s work. Do you [A] Go ahead with the trade. [D] Continue playing RUA.

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