Jewish Life at Georgetown


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Connect with a GUish Intern

GUish Interns help new & unaffiliated Jewish students connect with Jewish Life at Georgetown & the D.C. area.

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Jewish Student Groups

Jewish Life at Georgetown:

The Office of Jewish Life seeks to support students in their growth and development as they pursue lives of meaning, purpose, and belonging. We are committed to building a welcoming community, inspiring a love for Torah and tradition, and fostering Ahavat Yisrael (love of the Jewish people). Jewish Life at Georgetown University works to honor and celebrate authentic forms of Jewish expression, promote gender equality, and further the inclusion of all Jewish students on campus, including Jews of Color, LGBTQ+ Jews, and students from multi-faith backgrounds. Rabbi Daniel and Deb partner with students to organize and lead learning, social events, holiday celebrations, and weekly Shabbat dinners and services. We oversee the GU-ish engagement program, Bayit, the Jewish Living Learning Community (LLC), and offer one-on-one rabbinic support for coping with personal life challenges and engaging life’s big questions. Jewish Life works with other faith leaders to encourage interreligious dialogue and understanding on campus and advocates for the needs and concerns of Jewish students within the university. You can find us online, in Makom, or in our office, Healy 111.

You can support Jewish Life at Georgetown University by donating online through the Office of Mission and Ministry under Jewish Chaplaincy.

Jewish Life offers:

  • The GUish Student Engagement Internship designed to build and maintain interpersonal relationships among Jewish students. New and yet-to-be-involved students can meet student interns, and one day apply to be an intern themselves.
  • The Jewish Student Association (JSA) builds community among Jewish students through a wide array of social, cultural, and holiday programming and offerings
  • Weekly Shabbat services are held in Makom every Friday night at 5:30 pm, followed by Shabbat dinner at 6:30 pm when school is in session. 
  • Holiday observances on campus for all major Jewish holidays
  • Off-campus Shabbaton retreats twice a year in the Blue Ridge Mountains so students enjoy time in nature, pause from everyday campus life, and immerse themselves in Jewish community, spirituality and wisdom
  • Bayit, our Jewish Living Learning Community, located in a residence hall on campus, helps bring home-based Judaism to our campus
  • The Center for Jewish Civilization offers students a wide range of classes to learn more about Jewish life.

For inquiries, please email

Rabbi Daniel Schaefer is the Interim Director for Jewish Life. In this role, he oversees the Jewish Life program and supervises the Jewish Life staff team to foster a welcoming, dynamic, and supportive Jewish community at Georgetown. Rabbi Schaefer is excited to build relationships with students and connect around issues of ethics, social justice, and mental and emotional wellness. He is passionate about building pluralistic Jewish communities, making Torah accessible to everyone, and engaging in interfaith dialogue. He offers one-on-one supportive rabbinic counseling and leads Shabbat and holiday services throughout the year. Originally from Connecticut, Rabbi Schaefer graduated with a BA in History from Stanford University and wrote his honors thesis on early 20th-century American Judaism. He earned his MA in Jewish Studies and received ordination from the Rabbinical School of Hebrew College. Before becoming a rabbi, he worked as an entrepreneur and ghostwriter, guided students at a therapeutic wilderness program, and served in AVODAH: The Jewish Service Corps. He has studied at Mechon Hadar, the Hartman Institute, the Jewish Theological Seminary, and Hebrew Union College. In his free time, he loves writing, basketball, and hiking in the woods with his dog Ruby.

Deb Silver is the Associate Director of Jewish Life. In this role, she oversees the depth, breadth, and success of Jewish Life programs and coaches students to create meaningful connections across campus. Deb previously served as the campus director at the College of Charleston Hillel in South Carolina where she also worked with Jewish cadets and students from the Military College of South Carolina, The Citadel. In Charleston, she created and strengthened relationships with campus and community partners and introduced new student engagement and leadership opportunities. Deb’s love of community building and appreciation for the many ways individuals connect with spirituality blossomed at Capital Camps, a Jewish overnight camp where she was a camper, summer staff member, and later a year-round team member. She earned a Master of Social Work from the University of Michigan and a Bachelor of Arts in Communication from Salisbury University. A DMV area native, Deb loves spending time with family and friends and trying new restaurants. You can also find her taking tap dancing classes and checking out the latest book releases at the library in her free time.

Noam Kara is the Jewish Agency Israel Fellow at Georgetown. Noam (she/her/hers) was born and raised in Israel. She recently graduated with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and management from Ben Gurion University. She loves to travel, spend time in nature, and have exciting experiences. Noam comes to the program out of a true mission and love for Israel and Jewish culture. She brings a desire to help Jewish students strengthen their own Jewish identity. She is very excited to meet everyone and walk together on this journey.