Over 100 students gathered on the last night of Chanukah to see out the Chanukah festival in style in what was ‘Chabad on Campus for Manchester Universities’ inaugural event. They were joined by prominent members of the student and Chabad communities for an evening of ice skating, Jewish music and enough doughnuts to feed a Greek army.
Students from across Manchester gathered for wintery hot drinks before being whisked to Spinningfields Ice Rink where they took to the ice accompanied by Chanukah and Jewish music. The evening continued with a late night Menorah lighting lit on the ice by Jsoc president Johnny Kleiman before the celebrants moved to the warmth of the exclusive ‘winter bar’ where they were greeted with mountains of home-cooked food, hot soup and free drinks.
Students were declaring between mouthfuls that it was “the best
Chanukah we’ve ever had.”
Chabad Rabbi Zalmy Loewenthal described it as “a very enjoyable event”, having organised proceedings with his wife Mushky, and GE Jewish Student Centre wardens Hannah Cohen and Shai Schechter.
Also attending was student chaplain Rabbi YY Rubinstein who commented “it was a superb event bringing together large numbers of Jewish students as well as key players in the city’s Jewish student life. It was a wonderful launch for Rabbi Zalmy and his wife Mushky. Among the participants were Aish Manchester director Rabbi Benji Silverstone, and Zalman Klyne, prominent Jewish community activist and a founding supporter of Chabad on Campus Manchester together with Jewish community philanthropist Mr. David Slager.
Arriving on campus two months ago, Chabad-Lubavitch representatives Rabbi Zalmy and Mushky have already hosted several large Friday night meals and have begun hosting several smaller events at their home in Fallowfield.
The event was one of Chabad on Campus UK’s record number of public Menorah lightings including: UCL (1st ever), Nottingham (1st ever), Imperial College, Liverpool, Edinburgh, Leeds, Manchester, Cambridge, Sussex and Bristol Universities.
These were attended by high profile people such as Professor Lord Winston, Pro-Vice Chancellor of Nottingham University Saul Tender, Blackpool FC player Dekel Keinan and with Menorahs up to 9ft high.
A record was reached at Oxford where 250 students and faculty turned out for a giant Menorah lighting outside Balliol College with three heads of colleges.
This Chanukah Chabad on Campus UK delivered a vast array of programming including: close to 1000 Menorahs given out; the public giant Menorah Lightings from London to Edinburgh; Hanukkah themed Friday night Shabbats; 30 students celebrating Hanukkah at a pub in the East End of London; 700 doughnuts and Dreidels given out in Sussex; a Hanukkah get together at Westfield Shopping centre for the south London campuses; a Mitzvah Tank at Leeds campus; a Diversity concert including three African and one Jewish singer at Bloomsbury Chabad in central London and a Hanukkah bowling evening in Nottingham – Chabad on Campus UK celebrated Hanukkah with well over 2000 students and faculty across the UK campuses.