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10 Reasons To Go To Chabad On Campus

Chabad on Campus provides a “home away from home” for Jews at campuses across America and around the globe. Chabad seeks to ensure that students graduate as stronger and more empowered Jews than when they entered. Since the 1960s, Chabad campus centers open their doors to every Jewish student regardless of background or observance level. Here are 10 reasons you should join their ranks:

1) Fantastic people

Some of the greatest people you’ll meet and friendships you’ll make in college will happen at Chabad. From the second you walk in for the first time, you will instantly be embraced by the warm, welcoming environment where you will make new friends for life.

2) Shabbat

If you are looking for a delicious home cooked Shabbat dinner along with some inspiration, Chabad on Campus is perfect for you. Every Friday night, there are dozens, or hundreds, of students that come to Chabad for an amazing Shabbat dinner with the Rabbi and Rebbetzin’s adorable children. By the first week, you will feel like part of the family.

3) Awesome national events

Every Fall semester, thousands of students from all over the country meet in Brooklyn, NY for the national Shabbaton. The weekend retreat goes from Friday to Sunday and includes tours of NYC, an unforgettable Friday night dinner with a hasidc family, workshops, concerts and more. This was the highlight of my entire semester and something I’ll never forget. Whether meeting new people, experiencing Brooklyn, or even finding your future spouse, this is an event that only Chabad on Campus can put on.

4) Diversity and inclusion

One of the best things about Chabad is mixing with Jewish students from all Jewish denominations and social backgrounds. You may be surprised to discover that few students at Chabad are Chabad themselves — they are every kind of Jew, all united in one incredible community! Chabad is a home away from home where students can be themselves and feel welcomed no matter where they come from.

5) Israel opportunities

Some of my greatest memories in college are from the two school breaks I spent in Israel. In fact, I recently made Aliyah and will be joining the IDF in December! Chabad offers all kinds of Israel opportunities like Birthright, a follow-up trip called IsraeLinks, as well as other internship and learning programs in Israel. Chabad also provides resources back home to combat BDS and stand proudly for Israel.

6) Learning

College is one of the most important times in your life. For the first time, you live on your own without anyone telling you what to do or who to be. Chabad allows students to study about their heritage and grow spiritually with programs like weekly Torah study, Sinai Scholars, and one-on-one studying.

7) Leadership opportunities

The Chabad executive board is a great opportunity for those who are looking for leadership roles and resume boosters. The work that students do on the board is so important and it can be a very fulfilling experience for students.

8) Holidays

Chabad goes big for Jewish holidays! Chanukah means a huge menorah in the center of campus with plenty of latkes and dancing. On Sukkot you can see the rabbi peddling his sukkah bicycle around campus (no joke). For the High Holidays and Pesach you can expect a large and meaningful service at Chabad. Chabad’s Jewish pride is infectious and you’ll be proud to celebrate our special days in the biggest way possible.

9) To walk away from college with something more

College years go by fast. Once it’s all said and done, the only thing we leave campus with is a degree in hand and the memories we made. With Chabad, it can be more than that. You will be able to leave college with a feeling of impact and fulfillment that you won’t find anywhere else.

10) Roadside assistance

When I was a student, one of my first experiences with Chabad was the time I got into a car accident just outside of campus. I was new to the school and away from home for the first time. After I got off the phone with my father, I got a call from the campus Chabad rabbi. Within 10 minutes, he was on the scene with hot food and stayed with me for about five hours until the entire process was over. These are the kind of people that Chabad on campus rabbis and rebbetzins are. No matter the time, or the need, they will always be there to support and assistance you.

This article is part of the Forward’s first-ever College Guide — to read more fascinating stories and see the definitive rankings, click here.

Image by Kurt Hoffman

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