OCP: The Orthodox Community at Penn

Penn has one of largest and most active Orthodox communities. The OCP is a student run community that works in partnership with OU-JLIC and Penn Hillel. With tons of shiurim, minyanim, and programs, there’s always something to do. Learn more at http://pennocp.org

Penn Hillel

Penn Hillel is the address of a wonderful campus Jewish community where students celebrate Jewish life, continue to explore Jewish ideas and build community. Student groups include religious communities, educational initiatives, social justice projects, and groups that focus on Israel education and politics. Learn more: https://www.pennhillel.org/


There are numerous education and social opportunities that occur on Shabbat for Orthodox students. Many students eat together Friday night at Hillel, and others host meals in their apartments. On Friday night there is typically an oneg or tisch. Students give divrei Torah on Friday night and on Shabbat morning. Following morning services there is a community-wide kiddush, and Seudat Shelishit is intercommunal as well. Students sing and one of the students gives a Dvar Torah. There are often special speakers, guest lecturers, learning opportunities and scholars in residence on Shabbat.

There is an Eruv that extends over the entire university and hospital area.

Kosher Dining

Penn offers a kosher meal plan as part of the university meal plan, and there is a kosher dining hall located in the Hillel building. The kosher dining hall serves lunch and dinner every day except on Sunday, when it is closed. On Sundays, the OCP sponsors dinner and chavrutah learning. In addition to the full service cafeteria, there are various packaged kosher goods such as fresh sandwiches available for sale in the kosher dining hall and in other locations and dining halls around campus. The dining hall has a Mashgiach Temidi and Kashrut supervision is provided by the Va’ad of Philadelphia.

Housing at Penn

Orthodox students at Penn live in many places all over campus. The largest concentration of Orthodox students is in High Rise North, or Rodin College House, which is directly across from the Hillel building and houses anywhere from 50-75 Orthodox students on the lower floors. Many upperclassmen live in houses off campus, and many freshmen live in mandated freshman housing all over campus (though mostly on the Quad and Hill House).