Who We Are


"Jewish Chapel at West Point To End 'Wandering in Desert,'" The New York Times, Dec. 29, 1982, Sec 1, Page 1

Jewish Americans have always been integral to the history of West Point. The Academy's first graduating class of 1802 was 50% Jewish when Simon Magruder Levy graduated with one other cadet.

In 1965, three Jewish graduates formed a group that ultimately became the West Point Jewish Chapel Fund, a nonprofit committed to raise funds for the construction of a Jewish chapel. For 18 years, the Fund led a capital campaign that raised $7.5 million. Simultaneously, it navigated the lengthy administrative and bureaucratic process required to erect a building on the Academy’s grounds.

By a historic agreement approved by the U.S. Army, construction of the West Point Jewish Chapel began in 1982 and was dedicated in 1984 in a ceremony deeding the building to the Academy. Now nearly 40 years on, the West Point Jewish Chapel Fund continues to function in order to support chapel maintenance and Jewish programming.


Previous Jewish Worship Locations

Interior of the Old Cadet Chapel temporarily retrofitted to host Jewish services.

For well more than a century, Jewish cadets, faculty and community members had gathered to worship each week in a variety of temporary locations. For example, services were held at the Old Chapel built in 1836 and orginally located in the cadet area until 1910. 

For much of the 20th century, a chemistry lab located in Bartlett Hall hosted the community’s Shabbat services. Today, nearly four decades later, the West Point Jewish Chapel serves as a focal point for the Jewish community, a valued meeting space for the broader Academy, and a living symbol of the continued patriotism and military service of Jewish Americans.


Before the West Point Jewish Chapel was built, Jewish cadets gathered in makeshift locations. Here the West Point class of 1979 holds its baccalaureate service with Rabbi Avraham Soltes in a Bartlett Hall chemistry lecture room.

Construction of the West Point Jewish Chapel

Construction of the West Point Jewish Chapel commenced at a groundbreaking ceremony on December 14, 1982, and was completed in 1984.