Mathilde Schechter Residence

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Mathilde Schechter Residence is a residence hall for Jewish Theological Seminary joint program underclassmen, located mid-block on 120th St. between Amsterdam Avenue and Morningside Drive. With fewer than 90 residents it is one of the smallest dorms in the entire Columbia/affiliates housing system; for better or for worse, everybody knows everybody else. And, because it is accessible only to the relatively small community of JTS undergraduates, it is notoriously insular--which, again, has its advantages and disadvantages.

MSRH has a newly renovated music room, a long-neglected library with a somewhat idiosyncratic collection of rare and out-of-print Jewish books, and one of the slowest elevators in New York City. Its assembly room was the location of AEPi meetings until that fraternity was given a house in 1994, and its Music Room now hosts the Jewish a capella group Pizmon's weekly practices. Nightly Ma'ariv services begin in the Music Room at 10:00pm.

Many residents of the dorm speak of seeing the ghost of Mathilde Schechter roaming the halls of the building. Strange events, bloody homework assignments, and strange noises in the night all contribute to the myth. Mathilde's ghost is most often seen around midnight on shabbos. It is said that in order to placate her, one must always leave an extra set of shabbos candles in the kitchen drawer.

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