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 and Drexel University 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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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. The University City Eruv Corporation was founded in October 1997 to oversee the construction of the eruv and its maintenance. 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 map).

With the help of Rabbi Shimon Eider zt"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 comprising 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?

Rav HaMachshir

The Rav HaMachshir of the Eruv is Rav Mordechai Fuchs of Lakewood, NJ. Maintenance and repairs are done by Rabbi Baruch Gore.

Corporate Structure

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


Zachary Magerman


Coby Melkin



Akiva Berkowitz

Board of Directors

Ariel Sasson
Jeffrey K. Daman
Nathan Kelsey
Tzvi Merczynski-Hait
Yoni Cooper

Past Presidents

Yitzy Tanner • Coby Melkin • Tzvi Merczynski-Hait • Aaron Fishkind • Yoni Cooper
Ariel Sasson • Rebecca Slochowsky • Gavi Horwitz
Elan Ariel • Jacob Chefitz • Sam Greenberg
Jonathan Eskreis-Winkler • Hart Levine • Brad Rubin
Jonathan Moses • Chuck Boyars • Isaac Dayan

University City Eruv Borders

This map is not designed to provide exact geographical Eruv borders, rather it is informational to the extent that it delineates where one can definitely carry. Any street that overlaps with a border should be assumed to be outside the Eruv. Streets that are entirely inside the border are in the Eruv, but if you do plan on carrying near the border please contact us to make sure you will be staying inside. Penn Park should be entered over the Paley Bridge. Regarding continuing East on South St. past the main eruv boundary: There is a connector to the Center City Eruv allowing carrying into Center City only via the South St. Bridge. The connector is supervised by the Center City Eruv Corporation. Please contact us at for any questions on exact boundaries.

The jointly owned matzah forming the Eruv is located at 3434 Sansom Street.



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.