2006_2_passionofjew1.jpgIf you had to guess which public or private University in America had the most Jews, you might be tempted to guess Yeshiva University uptown, or perhaps Brooklyn College-- but you'd be so so wrong. The real answer is NYU! Yep, it turns out that our homely downtown alma mater has more Jews than any other school in the country-- so step off, University of Maryland! Washington Square News has the report:

NYU enrolls the largest number of Jewish students of any public or private university in the nation, according to a recent study by the Hillel Foundation for Jewish Campus Life.

With an estimated undergraduate Jewish population of 6,500, NYU has about 1,100 more than the subsequent ranking public universities, the University of Maryland at College Park and the University of Florida at Gainesville, and about 2,500 more than the subsequent ranking private university, Boston University, according to the survey released on Feb. 16.

Hillel also estimated that NYU has approximately 6,000 Jewish graduate students, making the university total 12,500 Jewish students — almost one third of the entire student population.

The article points out that those 12,500 include many reform and conservative Jews and people of "Jewish heritage"-- the number of practicing Orthodoxim is much smaller-- perhaps 300 or so. However, that number has tripled over the last five years due to heavier recruiting at local Orthodox high schools.