The University of Sydney’s
boutique residential college
and best-kept secret



A new phase of life, a new city and a new university are exciting but potentially overwhelming. Living in a residential college on campus can make the adjustment smoother.

Getting to know people is easier, caring staff are on hand to help out, and the only thing you need to do for meals is show up. There are no worries about commuting, grocery shopping, rent or household bills, so you can concentrate on your studies and making the most of university life.

As well as these benefits, Mandelbaum House gives you a family atmosphere, extra space and privacy, a calm and accepting environment and lots of opportunity to explore your individuality and independence in a safe and supportive community.

Our unique character shows in the little extras that enhance your uni experience.

  • Everyone knowing your name, and most knowing about the dog you’re missing back home.
  • Everyone also knowing when it’s your birthday — and enjoying the cake!
  • Thoughtful touches like extra snacks during intense study weeks, visits from a massage therapist at exam time and free bike hire.
  • Formal dinners each month with outstanding guest speakers. A gourmet menu is served by waitstaff and everyone frocks up.
  • Theme dinners celebrating the diverse cultures and backgrounds in our community. Bring your maracas!
  • Flexibility — if you can’t be here for lunch or dinner we’ve got you covered with takeaway meals.
  • No unknown faces in your corridor.


When you come to live at Mandelbaum House you automatically join the Mandelbaum House Residents’ Society (RESSOC).

Who runs it?

RESSOC is run by our residents for our residents. Each year the members elect a group of residents to represent everyone’s interests and coordinate activities and events. The executive is comprised of a president, vice-president, treasurer, secretary and inter-college rep. A food sub-committee is also elected and they liaise regularly with the CEO and head chef.

What does it cost?

The membership fee is $100 per semester and is paid along with fees for accommodation at the beginning of the semester.

To gain the most from your RESSOC and university experience, Mandelbaum House funds an USU Access Card for each resident (valued at $85), providing membership of the University of Sydney Union Clubs and Societies organisation.

  • RESSOC is both fun and useful, providing:
    • lots of USU Access Card discounts and deals on campus and throughout Sydney
    • in-house movie nights and games nights including table tennis and pool comps
    • excursions like laser tag, barefoot bowls, beach trips and The Hunter Valley
    • free printing paper and use of the printer in the library
    • free bike hire — a great way to explore Sydney
    • equipment for the games room and table tennis table
    • inter-college competitions including Intramural Sport and the new Intramural Arts Competition.  


Mandelbaum House was founded as an independent and inclusive college welcoming all students irrespective of race, religion, class, national or ethnic origin, gender, sexual orientation, age or disability. We welcome students from all over the world and are proud of our diversity. We respect and value the religion of each of our residents.

As intended by our founder, Rachel Lipton (née Mandelbaum), our college has special links to Jewish cultural life.

For an insight into Jewish life at Mandelbaum, please read A letter from a past resident to prospective Jewish observant.

For an insight into an Israeli students experience at Mandelbaum, please read My experience- Mandelbaum House  


Mandelbaum House adheres to Jewish dietary laws (kashrut). During the academic semester we provide 18 meals per week for residents.


Mandelbaum House is within short walking distance of Newtown Synagogue. We are also close to the Great Synagogue. 


The college celebrates many of the festivals on the Jewish calendar — as well as festivals from other faiths and cultures through our theme dinners. 

Scholar in Residence

Each year, the Mandelbaum Trust invites world-renowned scholars to stay for a period of time and to present lectures and courses at the college. These courses are open to the general public and residents are welcome to attend, regardless of their religion. For more information, please see Mandelbaum Learning.

Inter-university contacts

Mandelbaum House has a strong relationship with the Australasian Union of Jewish Students (AUJS) and many of our residents are members of this union. Like Hillel in the USA, AUJS provides opportunities for residents to meet Jewish students through social, cultural and educational events.

If you’re interested in public events such as lectures and courses under the Mandelbaum Learning wing, please see Mandelbaum Learning.

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