The religious and communal needs of Jewish students at Connecticut College are served by Rabbi Susan Schein, director of the Zachs Hillel House and College Chaplain, and Connecticut College Hillel. A wide variety of religious, educational, cultural and social activities are available to Jewish students, including weekly Shabbat dinners, holiday observances, lectures, study sessions and meals, like the popular Bagel Brunches.

 , College Chaplain, Director of Zachs HIllel House
Rabbi Susan Schein

College Chaplain, Director of Zachs HIllel House

Susan Schein was ordained at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College and previously served as associate rabbi for Congregation Kol Emet in Yardley, Pa. She earned a bachelor’s degree in political science and German language and literature from the University of Rochester and a master’s degree in German literature from Washington University in St. Louis. Schein was previously the coordinator for spiritual development at Philadelphia University. She has also served as Hillel director at Bucknell University and program director of the St. Louis Hillel Foundation, where she worked with students at Washington University and other campuses throughout the metropolitan area.

Jewish Community

Zachs Hillel House

The Zachs Hillel House, which opened in 2014, serves as a center for Jewish student life and related intercultural programming at the College. The 6,700-square-foot building, made possible by a $1 million gift from entrepreneur and philanthropist Henry Zachs and his family, features a conference room, library, study space, kosher kitchen and social space.

Academic programming

Several Connecticut College faculty, including religious studies professor Sharon Portnoff, have unique expertise in Judaic studies and offer courses in Judaic subjects. The minor in Jewish Studies brings together faculty from a variety of academic disciplines who work closely with students to study and analyze topics related to Jews and Judaism in a variety of social and political contexts. Additionally, various academic departments and College offices sponsor programs of interest to Jewish students and faculty.

Learn more

For further information about Jewish life at Connecticut College or to be put on the Jewish community and/or Hillel mailing lists, contact Rabbi Susan Schein, Director of Zachs Hillel House and College Chaplain, at (860) 439-5165 or  To learn more about the Hillel student organization, visit the Hillel Facebook page.

Local places of worship

Congregation Beth El (Conservative)
Services are being held at different locations. Please check website or call to confirm.
Business address: 27 Shaw Street, New London

Congregation Beth El

Congregation Ahavath Chesed (Orthodox)
590 Montauk Avenue, New London

Temple Emanu-El (Reform)
29 Dayton Road, Waterford

Temple Emanu-El