Jewish Life at Duke

The Freeman Center

Built in 1999, the striking 17,500-square-foot Freeman Center for Jewish Life stands at the corner of Campus Drive and Swift Avenue on Duke’s Central Campus. Students study in the classrooms and take advantage of the on-site E-Print station while also hanging out in the Paresky Lounge, enjoying the game tables in the Tabak Family Commons Area, and holding meetings in the Sassower Library.  Shabbat and Holiday services are held upstairs in the Levenson-Lerner Sanctuary. Henry’s Place in the Heyman Dining Hall serves a homestyle kosher buffet that is included in DukeCard meal plans. Kosher dining is available Monday - Thursday from 5:00pm until 8:00pm for $16.15 (for those not on the DukeCard meal plan). There is also a discount meal card good for 10 meals for $144.00.

Visit Freeman Center staff offices from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Study and hang out from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily. Students, access the building using your DukeCard. The building also has wireless internet access and on-site kosher dining.

For more information regarding renting the Freeman Center for Jewish Life, please contact Renee Moore, office coordinator.

For more information regarding the Freeman Center for Jewish Life's Kashrut Policy, please click here.

Our facility features a variety of spaces and activities:

Levenson-Lerner Sanctuary

This is a spacious room used during the academic year for Shabbat services, movie screenings, lectures and other student programming. We also hold classes and dining events in the lovely room. The high ceilings add a great acoustic to the room and the mounted projector and drop down screen make this space great for a variety of events.


  • Maximum Theater Seating: 140      
  • Maximum Banquet Seating: 96    
  • Square Feet: 1,638

Scharf Commons and Heyman Dining Room
This is a spacious room that can be divided into two separate areas. During the academic year, this spaces serves as the dining hall for many Shabbat dinners and weekly kosher dining. Major celebratory events are also held in this space including Jewish Baccalaureate, Family Weekend brunch and the annual Duke B’nai Mitzvah party.

Total Capacity

  • Maximum Theater Seating: 420     
  • Maximum Banquet Seating: 264   
  • Square Feet: 3,969

Scharf Commons Capacity

  • Maximum Theater Seating: 210      
  • Maximum Banquet Seating: 144    
  • Square Feet: 2,124

Heyman Dining Room Capacity

  • Maximum Theater Seating: 210      
  • Maximum Banquet Seating: 120  
  • Square Feet: 1,845

Sassower Library (Terrace Access)
The Sassower Library is used during the academic year for student organization meetings, Shabbat services learning initiatives, speakers and classes.


  • Maximum Theater Seating: 36   
  • Maximum Banquet Seating: 24   
  • Square Feet: 540

Classrooms A and B
Each classroom is fully equipped with a large touchscreen display board and Classroom A has video conference capabilities. These rooms serve as quite study spaces and are also used for many student meetings.

Capacity for each room

  • Maximum Theater Seating: 32     
  • Maximum Banquet Seating: 16   
  • Square Feet: 320
  • Square Feet: 320

Paresky Student Lounge
This space is used for a variety of student events throughout the academic year including movie screenings, viewing parties for sporting events and interfaith programs. The large screen television and bright colors make the space very welcoming.


  • Maximum Theater Seating: 40     
  • Maximum Banquet Seating: 30 
  • Square Feet: 529

Tabak Family Commons Area
This is a great place to see photos of some of the events hosted by Jewish Life at Duke as well as the some of the student organizations. The digital signage will keep you up to date with what’s going on and the seating area is a great spot to relax.  This area also provides the opportunity to meet new people or bring friends to shoot pool.