Jewish Life at Duke

20th Anniversary: Freeman Center

Freeman Center_20th Anniversary Logo

The Freeman Center for Jewish Life 20th Anniversary Celebration: March 27-28, 2020

Over the past 20 years, the Freeman Center for Jewish Life has become a home away from home for our students and families, faculty, staff and community. Join us in celebrating 20 years of the Freeman Center with a commemorative anniversary weekend!  All events and programs are free and open to the public. Register here by Tuesday, March 17


Friday, March 27, 2020

Freeman Center 20th Anniversary Celebration Shabbat: Freeman Center for Jewish Life

  •  4:30 pm Open House
  •  5:30 pm Shabbat Shira (Song Session)
  •  6:00 pm Shabbat Services
  •  7:20 pm Celebratory Dinner

Freeman Center Shabbat Around the Country: Host Your Own Shabbat (in your home!)                  

Let's spread the Duke and Freeman Center love around the country! For alumni, parents, and friends who will not make it to Duke's campus, you can host a Duke Freeman Center Shabbat in your home! Invite fellow Duke alumni and parents in your area and enjoy Shabbat dinner together. Our goal: 20 "Freeman Center" Shabbats around the country!

Interested in hosting a Freeman Center Shabbat dinner? It's easy!

  1. Register to host by clicking here.      
  2. Invite fellow Duke alumni and parents you know in your city. Invite the number of guests you feel comfortable hosting - all you need is 1 more Duke alumnus or parent to host your dinner. If you would like an introduction to fellow Jewish Dukies in your city, contact us.
  3. Shabbat shalom! Hosts will receive a special Freeman Center Shabbat box with Duke kippot, the song lists we'll be singing here at the Freeman Center, a special blessing to say, and more fun surprises. There are many different ways to make your Shabbat meal special such as asking your guests to participate in a potluck, or taking advantage of outside resources and funding like OneTable.


Saturday March 28, 2020

The Freeman Center at 20: An Exploration of The Jewish "Home Away From Home" at Duke

  • 12:30 pm Lunch
  • 1:00 to 2:30 pm Program

The Freeman Center for Jewish Life has been the central address for Jewish life on Duke's campus for 20 years. Join us for Shabbat lunch and a lively conversation about how the Freeman Center came to be, what the center's unique architecture provides to the Jewish community, and thoughts about the future of the space. Discussion will also place the Freeman Center's design in context with that of other Jewish student centers on American college campuses, their historical background, and contemporary challenges faced by their communities.

Leading the conversation will be: Judith Ruderman, PhD '76, former Vice Provost for Academic and Administrative Services and adjunct professor of English at Duke University, Architect Jeremy Kargon, P'21, Associate Professor at Morgan State University's School of Architecture and Planning, and Heath Freeman, '02, Chair of the Jewish Life at Duke Advisory Board.

Looking for a Saturday morning service before joining us for this event? Feel free to attend services at one of our local Durham synagogues. Visit Beth El Synagogue  (1004 Watts Street, Durham, NC 27701) for Conservative services from 9:30 am - 12:30 pm or Orthodox services at 9:00am or Judea Reform Congregation (1933 West Cornwallis Road, Durham, NC 27705) for a 9:00 - 10:30 am Torah Study with Rabbi Melissa Simon.

Be sure to register here for all events by Tuesday, March 17!

Were you a Duke student, parent, or community member during or shortly after the construction and opening of the Freeman Center? Do you have a memory or story you’re willing to share about your experience? Share your story here!  To learn about the history of the Freeman Center, click here.

To honor 20 years of the Freeman Center for Jewish Life—our Jewish home on campus, support Jewish Life at Duke today.


freeman center for jewish life from the outside of the building with a bright blue sky background

    Interested media are welcome at all events.  In deference to the religious observance of the Sabbath, please note that the use of photography and video is limited to the open house and song session on Friday, March 27 between 4:30 – 6:00 pm.  Shabbat is observed Friday and Saturday, beginning and ending at sundown.

    Questions? Contact:

    Lena Wegner—Assistant Director, External Relations, 919-684-6526

    Aviv Sheetrit—Associate Director, External Relations, 919-684-1949

    Jewish Life at Duke / Freeman Center for Jewish Life is located at 1415 Faber Street, Durham, NC  27708