Shalom Life | February 01, 2015

Chabad Conference Explores Expansion of Jewish Life on Campus

Over 800 Chabad directors and families from 175 campuses unite in Stamford, Conn.

By: Sammy Hudes

Published: July 6th, 2012 in News » World

Chabad Conference Explores Expansion of Jewish Life on Campus

University and college campuses from across the world were represented at the 2012 Chabad Campus International Conference last week, as over 800 Chabad directors and their families from 175 campuses took part.

The conference began on June 25 and spanned a total of four days, over which time these campus-based Chabad-Lubavitch emissaries from the U.S., Canada, Europe and Israel came together in Stamford, Conn. and participated in workshops, lunch table discussions, dinner programs and general sessions to discuss ways to improve Jewish campus life.

The Canadian campuses represented included Queen’s University in Kingston, Ont., the University of Western Ontario in London, Ottawa's Carleton University as well as the University of Ottawa (U of O), McGill and Concordia University in Montreal, Que. and the University of Guelph, which will open its new Chabad House this upcoming school year.

“The beauty of this conference could be found in the shared purpose and unifying spirit among all the attendees,” said Rabbi Yossy Gordon, executive vice president of the Brooklyn, N.Y.-based Chabad on Campus International Foundation. “Each has a role to play in providing a home away from home for Jewish students, whoever they are and wherever they may be found.”

It was also announced during the conference that this upcoming year, Chabad would be opening four new centres for Jewish students in Europe, including American Jews studying abroad. These centres will be located in Amsterdam, Berlin, Florence and Frankfurt, joining existing ones in Debrecen, Hungary and Paris, France. Students will be provided by Chabad with Torah classes, Shabbat meals and holiday services in the local languages of these new locations.

“By far, this was the largest conference ever, said Gordon. “But its impact goes way beyond the attendance. This is the one time each year that Chabad House directors representing 175 campuses with full-time operations and hundreds more with partial services can get together with their family and friends from around the globe and hash out issues and implement planning ideas for the coming year.”

The idea sharing that took place at the conference spanned over a variety of topics, including ways to improve Friday night Shabbat dinners, how to maximize Chabad trips and shabbatons, overseeing Chabad events and activities such as fundraisers as well as teaching and advising Jewish students campus.

“We must not rest until every Jewish student is provided with whatever he or she needs in terms of engaging with the beauty of Judaism and making it a part of his or her life,” said Rabbi Moshe Kotlarsky, chairman of the Chabad on Campus International Foundation.

One of the initiatives unveiled was a study project that would bring Torah learning “to a new level,” according to Rabbi Asher Yaras, director of Chabad House on Campus serving colleges near Rochester, N.Y., and the chairman of this year’s conference.

The initiative was launched to educate students through a variety of topics such as business and medical ethics, Talmud, running a kosher kitchen with a non-Jewish roommate and weekly Torah portion discussions in ways relevant to students’ lives.

Rabbi Chaim Boyarsky, co-director of the Chabad Student Network of Ottawa which caters to students at both U of O and Carleton told Shalom Life that these new courses would be taught to students through more modernized curriculum forms, for instance via the use of PowerPoint presentations.

“The idea is to do better activities and to make sure that not one student gets left behind and every student is included in Jewish life on campus,” said Boyarsky. “We always have to do more and more. The idea is never to rest until everyone is reached.”

With files from chabad.org.

55,000-Year-Old Skull Discovered in Israel Sheds Light on First Humans in Europe 55,000-Year-Old Skull Discovered in Israel Sheds Light on First Humans in Europe Trending Getting anti-Semitism Wrong at the United Nations Getting anti-Semitism Wrong at the United Nations TrendingArtist Envisions The Simspons as Jews During the Holocaust Artist Envisions The Simspons as Jews During the Holocaust Trending
 

Israeli Startups Collectively Raised Over $900 Million Last Week

January 30, 2015 | By Viva Sarah Press
Israeli Startups Collectively Raised Over $900 Million Last Week

Various startups in Israel raised $910 million through acquisitions and funding rounds in a seven-day period

Read More

Woody Allen’s Joaquin Phoenix-Starrer is Called ‘Irrational Man’

January 30, 2015 | By Ashley Baylen
Woody Allen’s Joaquin Phoenix-Starrer is Called ‘Irrational Man’

Sony Pictures Classics have announced the name of Allen's upcoming film.

Read More

Steven Spielberg’s Daughter, Sasha, to Star in Snapchat Web Series

January 30, 2015 | By Ashley Baylen
Steven Spielberg’s Daughter, Sasha, to Star in Snapchat Web Series

Spielberg will co-star with John Goldwyn's daughter, Emily.

Read More

Roseanne Barr on Bill Cosby:” It Surprises Nobody”

January 30, 2015 | By Ashley Baylen
Roseanne Barr on Bill Cosby:” It Surprises Nobody”

The comedian believes Cosby should apologize.

Read More

Remembering Myra Kraft on Super Bowl Sunday

January 30, 2015 | By Jason Stverak, JNS.org
Remembering Myra Kraft on Super Bowl Sunday

What will be missing for the second time in recent New England Patriots' Super Bowl memory this Sunday is Myra Kraft sitting with her husband, owner Robert Kraft

Read More

Wounded Syrians Treated in Israel: Eliminate Hezbollah

January 30, 2015 | By Hassan Shaalan
Wounded Syrians Treated in Israel: Eliminate Hezbollah

"We were taught that Israel is the enemy of Syria and all Arab countries. Now that I stayed here, I believe the opposite is true; Israel is better than other Arab countries, which don't admit wounded people," says one injured Syrian

Read More

Jewish Hall Of Fame: Kenny Bernstein

January 30, 2015 | By Caitlin Marceau
Jewish Hall Of Fame: Kenny Bernstein

The famous "King of Speed" is known as one of the most important figures in NASCAR history

Read More

Postcard from Einstein's Sole Trip to Israel Sells At Auction

January 30, 2015 | By Daniel Koren
Postcard from Einstein's Sole Trip to Israel Sells At Auction

Almost a century after the physicist's trip to the Holy Land, postcard sells for $56,000

Read More

More Headlines