Columbia placed fourth in the infamous U.S. News rankings. But Jews are holding us to a higher standard.
“Oy!” you might say. We’ve got this in the bag. But on this list, Columbia is actually ranked lower than it is by U.S. News. What a religious revelation!
Among private universities, Columbia is #10, right after Tulane. Tulane!? The number one spot goes to N.Y.U., followed by B.U. and, expectedly, Yeshiva University. Reform Judaism Magazine calls this “The Top 60 Schools Jews Choose,” and uses criteria (provided by Hillel) such as Jewish population, the number of Jewish courses offered, and whether there’s a Jewish Studies Major. A sidebar listing of the top 20 schools by percentage of Jews puts Barnard at #6. But Columbia doesn’t even make the cut. I’m kvetching!
On the private school ranking, Yale comes in below Columbia (aha, at last!) at #19. But, oddly, Yale is #20 on that sidebar listing—the one Columbia doesn’t appear in.
Brandeis, a University recognized for its Jewiness, is ranked #15. (This is the school Alvy Singer mentioned when reducing his first wife to a cultural stereotype: “You, you, you're like New York, Jewish, left-wing, liberal, intellectual, Central Park West, Brandeis University, the socialist summer camps and the, the father with the Ben Shahn drawings, right, and the really, y'know, strike-oriented kind of, red diaper, stop me before I make a complete imbecile of myself.”) As much as I’m proud to see Columbia win at something, I couldn’t help but think Brandeis should have beaten us here.
And so, on this Shabbat, we are reminded of two things. One: Columbia is a Jewy place, but it could be Jewier. Two: College rankings are fakokta.