By Nitsan Machlis MPP 2025

Holocaust survivor Jack Trompetter delivers a speech to members of the Jewish Caucus in a classroom
The Jewish Caucus organized a talk on International Holocaust Remembrance Day with Holocaust survivor Jack Trompetter.

Who we are

The Jewish Caucus, a student organization at Harvard Kennedy School, is a non-denominational Jewish student organization dedicated to fostering an inclusive and diverse Jewish community on campus. Our mission is to offer Jewish students a space to engage with their heritage, culture, and peers in a welcoming environment.

At a time when Jewish community for Jewish students is as important as ever, we strive to foster a community where every student feels at home, connected, and supported. Throughout the academic year, we celebrate holidays together and provide a platform for education and dialogue. We also advocate for the needs of Jewish students at HKS and work together to fight antisemitism on campus.

What we do

Our calendar is filled with cultural, religious, social, and educational events designed to enrich our community’s experience and understanding of Jewish life while in graduate school. Here are just a few examples of what we’ve been up to.

  • Jewish students social welcome event: A kickoff event welcoming new and returning students to campus life
  • Informal Shabbat dinners: Cozy small-group dinners that offer a slice of home and tradition amidst the bustling academic week
  • School-wide Hanukkah celebration: A festive event lighting up the campus with the spirit of the Festival of Lights
  • Holocaust Remembrance event: An educational opportunity for all HKS students featuring a local Holocaust survivor sharing their personal story with our community
  • Group discussions: Engaging conversations for caucus members about Jewish life on campus, exploring issues such as identity, religious practices, and antisemitism
  • Educational events with Jewish leaders: Critical discussions with prominent public figures about policy issues concerning Israel and the Diaspora
  • Mixers with other Harvard Jewish organizations: Opportunities to connect with the broader Jewish student body across Harvard
  • All-school Shabbat dinner: An end-of-year celebration to share Shabbat traditions with the wider HKS community
Large room with long tables set for Shabbat dinner
Tables set in Nye ABC in advance of a School-wide Shabbat dinner celebration


How to get involved

The Jewish Caucus is more than just an organization; it’s a community. And there’s a place for everyone who wishes to be a part of it. We invite you to join us, whether it’s at an event, as part of our leadership team, or simply for a Shabbat dinner. Together, we can create a vibrant and inclusive Jewish community on campus. Here’s how you can dive in.

  • Come to our social events: Our social gatherings are a great way to meet other Jewish students and learn more about our vibrant community.
  • Attend or host a Shabbat dinner: Whether you’re looking to host or simply join, Shabbat dinners are a perfect way to feel connected.
  • Join our leadership team: Plan events and build a community for Jewish students at HKS.
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