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About Us

About Us

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Since 2002 the Chabad House at College Hill has been offering students a warm and friendly atmosphere to experience traditional Jewish services and customs. Kiddush Shabbat dinner and lunch are available every week along with various holiday services and meals when appropriate. Private learning sessions can be arranged and group classes are taught throughout the semester. See the calendar for details.

Vision
With the vision to open the door of Judaism to all Jewish students and faculty at Brown, RISD and J&W. We have established The Chabad House, a place where Jews of all backgrounds and degrees of observance can enjoy exploring their Jewish heritage in a warm, welcoming and non-judgmental environment.

Philosophy
It's our core belief that every individual Jew has an indispensable contribution to make to the totality of the Jewish people. Predicated on the Mitzvah of "Ahavat Yisrael - love of a fellow Jew," Chabad seeks to engage fellow Jews at their own pace and comfort level through innovative educational programs in all areas of Jewish life.

Programs
Among our programs, we host weekly Kiddush and Shabbat dinners that provide Jewish students an intimate setting to eat, meet new friends, and celebrate Shabbat in a spiritual and intellectual stimulating manner. Creative Holiday programs on campus raise Jewish consciousness and pride throughout the community. Lectures and classes on Jewish law, philosophy, and ethics, teach the relevance and share the beauty and depth of our heritage to our leadership community. We continue to meet with students individually around the clock.

Funding
Being that we interact primarily with a student community, we provide all our programs and services free of charge. No one is ever turned away. The support for our programs comes solely from alumni, parents and friends.

Inspired
By The Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson. For a glimpse into the Rebbe, click here.

The Rebbe


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rabbi's Message

What is a Jew?

A rabbi once offered the following analogy: "Every Jew is a letter in the Torah. But a letter may, at times, grow somewhat faded. It is our sacred duty to mend these faded letters and make G‑d's Torah whole again."

Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak of Lubavitch heard this, and objected: "No, the identity of the Jew cannot be compared to erasable ink on parchment. Every Jew is indeed a letter in G‑d's Torah, but
a letter carved in stone . At times, the dust and dirt may accumulate and distort – or even completely conceal—the letter's true form; but underneath it all, the letter remains whole. We need only sweep away the surface grime, and the letter, in all its perfection and beauty, will come to light.''

Staying Warm

The story is told about a pious Jew who, every year for the high holidays, would begin walking by foot to his Rebbe. Now this was no easy task, because the weather was usually freezing and snowy at that time of year in Russia. One year, on a lonely road in the middle of some snowy forest his "batteries finally ran out"; his legs simply would not move another step.

He was on the verge of collapsing in the snow when suddenly he heard something in the distance. It was a wagon filled with large barrels, and it stopped before the freezing Jew. "Hey Moshke!" The wagon-driver yelled " If you can find a place, jump in!" . With renewed strength the Pious Jew gratefully grabbed the hand, and pulled himself up onto the wagon.

After a few minutes huddled between the barrels he was abruptly reminded that he was freezing,. That was when he noticed a small spigot sticking out of one of the barrels. With a shivering hand he turned the handle over the spigot. No, it wasn't wine or oil, , it was...vodka! "Ivan" he yelled to the driver "I need a little of your merchandise here, Can I take a small cup?" "Of course, my friend" shouted the driver over his shoulder. The second cup was better than the first, and in a minute he was warm.

Upon His Arrival to his Rebbe's Court , he immediately gathered everyone around him and said he wanted to tell them something. "Today I learned a very great lesson." He began, . "You know that the Torah is compared to water, right? The Torah is supposed to make you warm and happy, and that is why we need to study with our fellow Jew— to make them warm and happy. Torah includes all kinds of water, so Kabbalah must be the vodka of Torah, right? ""Well, I just discovered that a Jew,can be surrounded by barrels of Kabbalah , by a sea
of Torah, and still be cold, even freezing to death.

"But...if just a little bit goes INSIDE... Ahhh. That is a completely different story! Then he becomes warm and alive. In fact then, he can even warm up the whole world around him as well..."

Frequently Asked Questions


Q: What does Chabad do on campus?
A: Chabad provides Jewish students with all their spiritual needs. Chabad provides kosher Shabbat and holiday meals free of charge to students (best meals in town). We have Jewish books for reading, Mezuzot for your doors, and an open center for Jewish students to come for study, prayer, or just to hang out. Mendel and Chani are ready to answer your questions regarding all areas of Jewish life.

Q: Do only religious people come to Chabad?
A: Chabad is a place for all Jews regardless of their affiliations or ties. Many of the students who come to Chabad are not religious, some with a little Jewish education, and others with none at all. One of the exciting things about Chabad is one can meet people from all walks of life.

Q: What happens if I don't know what to do?
A: Don’t worry, everyone is learning and one has to start sometime, and what better place than at Chabad? There is always someone willing to help you out.

Q: Who directs Chabad activities?
A: Rabbi Mendel and Chani Laufer run The Chabad House Jewish student center. The Chabad Student Board plans activities.

Q: All this is great, but how do I join?
A: We're open to every Jewish student. Joining Chabad is simple! Just come on by. To get on the mailing list and find out about all our activities, just sign up.

Q: So how much time do I have to dedicate to Chabad activities?
A: College students have very busy lives and this is completely understood. Some students come to dinner and stay for a few minutes while others stay for a few hours. Everyone is welcome.

Q: But wait!! How much does it cost?
A: Nothing! Just bring yourself and lots of friends!

Rabbi Mendel and Chani Laufer, Directors

 

Rebmendel@Chabadbrown.com

Chani@ChabadBrown.com

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