University City Eruv


Welcome to the website of the University City Eruv Corporation. We are a non-profit corporation whose mission is to maintain an Eruv around portions of University City, Philadelphia. Following many years of hard work, the eruv was declared kosher prior to Rosh Hashana 5763 (September 7, 2002). We urge you to explore our website to see a map of the eruv, our corporate structure, and giving opportunities in order to maintain the eruv. The Eruv is a vital feature in allowing the University of Pennsylvania to accomodate its many Shabbat Observant students as well as visitors to the local hospitals. We appreciate your support and help, which we need to maintain the Eruv.

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Project Overview

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What is an Eruv?

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Learn More

Project Overview

University City is a neighborhood in West Philadelphia that includes the University of Pennsylvania, Drexel University, and other small colleges. Located in the heart of Philadelphia, the area attracts many college students, and has become the home of a vibrant collegiate Jewish Community centered around the University of Pennsylvania Hillel Foundation.

Essential to the growth of any Jewish community today is an eruv. An eruv allows members of the (observant) Jewish community to transport items from one property to another on the Sabbath; Sabbath Laws forbid this otherwise (For a more detailed, technical explanation read "What is an Eruv" at this site). How does an eruv accomplish this? In short, by declaring a given region as communal property, with a clearly delineated physical border.

In January 1997 a student led effort was initiated to establish an eruv for the Jewish community at the University of Pennsylvania and surrounding areas and to attain the necessary approval from University and City authorities. For the following few years work was done to enclose the designated area of University City inconspicuously through a construction project supervised by Rabbinic consultants (Click Here for a detailed map).

With the help of Rabbi Shimon Eider z"l, on Rosh Hashana of 5763 (September 7, 2002) the eruv was pronounced 'Kosher' for the first time. Since then a team of dedicated volunteers comprised of both undergraduate and graduate students have checked the eruv on a weekly basis to ensure its continued operation. (Click Here to become a volunteer.)

Who Are We?

The University City Eruv Corporation, founded in October 1997, is a non-profit corporation commissioned to build and maintain the University City Eruv. The University City Eruv Corporation attained all needed legal authority for the construction of the eruv, secured and holds the property rights for the "communal" region and all eruv components, is responsible for the long term maintenance of the eruv, and assumes all responsibilities relating to the eruv property and structures. The University City Eruv Corporation has Executive Officers and a Board of Directors. Our officers are students (both undergraduate and graduate) as well as alumni of the University of Pennsylvania. The board members are people dedicated in their recognition of the importance of the eruv project in University City.

Executive Officers


Tzvi Merczynski-Hait


Nathan Kelsey


Palmer Paul
Josh Nouriyelian

Board of Directors

Aaron Fishkind
Yoni Cooper
Ariel Sasson
Rebecca Slochowsky
Gavi Horwitz
Elan Ariel
Jacob Chefitz
Jeffrey K. Daman
Hart Levine
Jonathan Moses
Jonathan Eskreis-Winkler

Eruv Borders

North (and North-East)

The south side of Powelton St., in between 43rd and 32nd streets, and the SEPTA property between 32nd and 31st streets, which is behind the north side of J.F.K. Blvd.


Beginning on the south-east corner of 43rd St. and Chester Avenue, moving straight up the east side of 43rd St., all the way to the south-east corner of 43rd St. and Powelton Avenue.

South (and South-East)

Beginning at the railroad tracks that go over Spruce/South St. (these railroad tracks are the would be 31st St.), moving south along Convention Avenue and the fence that separates the SEPTA tracks from the road behind the Philadelphia Civic Center, the Hospital Construction Site, and Pennsylvania Hall. This border continues along the fence separating this area and the SEPTA tracks, going over University Avenue/32nd St., behind the Veterinary Hospital (on the west side of University Avenue/32nd St.). The Eruv includes the Veterinary Hospital, but excludes the Woodlands Cemetery. The Eruv border picks up right outside of the cemetery, on the south side of Woodland Avenue, along the cemetery's fence until 42nd St, crossing 42nd St just south of Woodland Avenue. The border continues north along the west side of 42nd St and turns west on the south side of Chester Avenue until 43rd St.


Beginning at the back of the parking lot across from 30th St. Station, and north of J.F.K. Blvd., the border picks up with the SEPTA train tracks (what would be 31st St.), and follows them all the way to the north side of the lower Walnut Street. It continues west the north side of the lower Walnut Street until it turns south on the Penn Park east outer fence. The border continues along the outer Penn Park fence, looping around until it crosses the SEPTA tracks next to the pedestrian bridge behind Franklin Field. The border joins the fence behind Franklin Field continuing south until Convention Avenue and rejoining the railroad tracks over Spruce/South St.



The Eruv became a reality thanks to the donations of many generous individuals. Additionally, the continued support of community members and allied agencies allows us to cover the yearly costs of maintenance and insurance which must be met in order to keep the eruv operating.

Aside from making life simpler for Sabbath observant Jews at the area's universities (including the University of Pennsylvania and Drexel University), the eruv provides key conveniences to patients and their families at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania (HUP) and the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). Also, we hope that the presence of an Eruv will attract families into the University City area, building up a community of graduate and post-graduate families.

All donations are fully tax deductible and are greatly appreciated.

To make a donation, please email us, or click the button below to donate securely though PayPal


Our Eruv relies on volunteers to check the Eruv each Friday morning before the Sabbath to ensure that the Eruv has not had any breaks. Students and others who rely on the Eruv each week are especially encouraged to become Eruv Checking Volunteers.

To become a volunteer, email us or email Tzvi Merczynski-Hait, our President.