The Chabad Jewish Center will host a special version of its weekly Shabbat Dinner tonight for students to embrace and continue practicing their Jewish traditions away from home.
Shabbat Dinners are traditional Jewish dinners on Fridays, the Judaism day of rest, to transition from busy and stressful weeks to more spiritual times.
The Chabad Jewish Center’s Shabbat Dinner tonight will be slightly different from its normal weekly dinners, which host about 80-100 students.
In attempts to unite more than 300 Jewish Wildcats, this special Shabbat 300 dinner will include students from all across campus including Greek Life and on and off campus housed students. Rabbi Yosi Winner, organizer of the club, said that everyone is invited regardless of observance or affiliation, .
“We try to service students to what they usually have at home here on campus,” Winner said.
Shabbat Dinners on campus have provided a new home away from home for many Jewish students who are accustomed to Jewish traditions, students said.
“I have been celebrating Shabbat dinners all my life until college,” said interdisciplinary studies senior and frequent Shabbat attendee Josh Reitzenstein.
“Before Chabad, every Friday night was a party night, now instead of looking for the next great party to go to, I am eating a five-course gourmet Jewish meal and interacting with fellow classmates who are accustomed to the same traditions that I am.”
The free services given by Chabad Jewish Center are offered to students in an effort to make them feel more at home and to continue the Shabbat experience they had at home into their college life.
“Shabbat has kept Jewish people on campus, instead of The Jewish people keeping Shabbat on campus,” Reitzenstein said. “It really established the Jewish community on campus, not to mention the food is a great break from college life”
Rebbetzin Naomi Winner, wife of Rabbi Winner, prepares the weekly meals for the many students that attend, preparing traditional Jewish food while a student board helps in recruiting students for the dinner.
“We would really like to express the gratitude to all the students who have helped prepare for Shabbat 300, and Azi Siegel, Vice President of our student board,” Rabbi Winner said.