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.

Jewish Life offers:

Jewish Life Retreat

Grounded in the traditions of Judaism, our 25-hour Shabbaton (overnight Shabbat retreat) is truly a sabbath (rest) from the commotion of campus life. Join us for a Shabbat va’Yinafash – a time of renewal and refreshment in the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Explore Jewish Life Retreat


Friday Night Services | Makom, Leavey Center. Services have ended for the academic year and will resume in the fall semester.

To see a full schedule of all Campus Ministry gatherings and services, please visit our Campus Ministry Religious Services Calendar.

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

Meet Our Team

Headshot of Rabbi Daniel Schaefer

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.

Headshot of Deb Silver

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.

Headshot of Noam Kara

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.