Jewish Life in Oxford
With its amazing historic buildings, fantastic ambience and situation near to the beautiful Cotswold countryside, Oxford is a great place for everyone to visit. On top of all this, Jewish visitors can experience the unique flavour of Oxford's Jewish life. Oxford has a small but thriving Jewish community similar to that found in any city that has a large University and range of hi-tech industry.
Oxford attracts leading Jewish scholars who come to visit the Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies and the Bodleian Library (which houses one of the world's leading collections of historic Jewish books and manuscripts). We also have people who come for short periods to engage with Oxford’s special status as home to a world class university, with a leading teaching hospital, so we are used to accommodating a transient population. We very much welcome all our visitors, for however short or long a period.
So it may be that on a visit to the synagogue on a Shabbat morning, the visitor may find himself standing between a local shopkeeper and a visiting scholar from Jerusalem, or a graduate student, and a local pharmacist. On some weekends you may have a choice between the Orthodox service (which happens every week) and a service in one of the other traditions within Judaism. If you are visiting Oxford an excellent place to meet residents and other visitors is the kiddush after Saturday morning services, where all worshippers meet no matter what service they have attended.
OJC hosts a wide range of cultural and educational events as do other groups in Oxford. Oxford has a major research centre in Hebrew and Jewish Studies, housed in the Clarendon Institute close to the Oxford Jewish Centre, with a programme of public lectures and classes, a thriving Jewish student society, Oxford JSoc, attached to both its universities (Oxford University and Oxford Brookes), and an energetic Chabad House.