By COLlive reporter
It was a gala event on Tuesday, November 30th, as The Rohr Center for JGrads NYC and Chabad Cardozo celebrated 13 years of Chabad at the Cardozo School of Law in New York City.
Approximately 150 people turned out for the reception, which was held on the third night of Chanukah at the Chelsea Hall on 23rd Street, and featured cocktails and an elegant dinner.
Those in attendance had the privilege of writing the first letters in a new Torah being sponsored by the class of 1995’s Adam Chernichaw, recipient of this year’s Achievement Award, which will be used at the law school once completed.
Also honored were the class of 1992’s Judge Michael L. Katz, class of 1991’s Terrence A. Oved, class of 2018’s Zalman Cole, class of 2022’s Laurenne Ferber-Kaufman and class of 1995’s Lawrence Garbuz and Adina Lewis.
The party which began with a Menorah lighting by Rabbi Levi Wolff of Sydney, Australia, was emceed by class of 2020’s Gabrielle Kraushaar, a former Chabad Cardozo president, and there was a special sense of excitement in the air at finally being able to enjoy in-person festivities after the darkness of COVID.
Garbuz, who became known as patient zero after being New York’s first confirmed coronavirus case, spoke warmly about how he and his family received tremendous support from the Jewish community and fellow Cardozo alumni during his long ordeal.
Seven judges, including Judge Martin Shulman and Judge Barbara Kapnick, both of the appellate division, as well as partners at major law practices, principals at boutique firms and multiple alumni were among those who came to pay tribute to Chabad’s 13-year presence at Cardozo, providing Jewish students and alumni an opportunity to explore their religious heritage in a non-judgmental environment that fosters camaraderie.
Rabbi Chezky Wolff who together with his wife Perry direct Chabad serving Cardozo discussed how Chabad at Cardozo’s classes, programming, networking, Shabbos dinners and other initiatives offer students crucial opportunities for personal, spiritual and professional growth.
“There is a lot of pressure in law school and Chabad at Cardozo gives students the ability to focus on themselves, on their yiddishkeit and their real needs,” said Rabbi Wolff.
“I tell people all the time that sometimes you are so busy trying to make a living that you forget what you are living for. The ability to have a Torah class, a Friday night dinner or a one on one with the rabbi can be extremely beneficial.”
The festivities paid heartfelt homage to Chabad at Cardozo, where everyone at every level of observance is genuinely welcomed.
“We consider ourselves a place where those who were brought up Lubavitch, to those who have no connection to yiddishkeit at all, feel like they have come home,” said Rabbi Wolff. “This event was a celebration of being able to bring everyone together.”
Chabad had even a much earlier presence at the Cardozo School of Law in the form of students and faculty. When I first enrolled at Cardozo in 1988 there were less than a handful of mezuzahs up in the entire school building. After consultation with Rabbi Goldberg at Hadar HaTorah I relentlessly approached a non- Jewish administrator who finally contacted the main Yeshiva University about the situation, and B”H Yeshiva University then put mezuzahs on all the doorposts throughout the school. I remember donating a Tanya to the Cardozo law library and writing to the Rebbe to detail the card catalog number the librarian assigned to the Tanya. I would often bring my tefillin to put on other students, and I maintained a sign up list for students to list their secular birthday so I could look up their Jewish birthdays for them. Yisroel Schulman, also a Lubavitcher, was running the legal services clinic at Cardozo at the time.Share