Walk into our campus Chabad for Friday night dinner, and it is likely that Rabbi Hershey will greet you by name — you and every other of the 150 students who attend weekly. He and his wife, Chana, go out of their way to know and be known by each and every Jewish student. WashU has roughly 2,000 Jewish students, and at least half are influenced by Chabad over the school year. Under Rabbi Hershey’s leadership, Chabad runs programs every single night of the week, where students of all denominations participate and feel comfortable. Besides Shabbat and holiday programming (over 400 people at Passover Seder last year), Chabad has daily morning and Shabbat morning minyan, as well as cooking, educational, special needs and religious programs. Rabbi Hershey even visits sick students and brings them chicken soup. There is no Jewish service offered on campus that Rabbi Hershey didn’t directly build or lobby strongly for. Whether that’s fighting for our kosher program, signing off on mechanical keys instead of keycards, building the sukkah on campus, putting mezuzas on dorms or lobbying the local Jewish community to extend the eruv to include campus, Rabbi Hershey’s influence touches every aspect of Jewish life at WashU.
— Alex Griffel
Watch Rabbi Novack discuss his work with the St. Louis community: