Is Chabad for me?
Let's tackle the questions one at a time. You know, the ones you don't want to ask but really want to hear.
"Will I feel comfortable even though I lack knowledge and background in Judaism?"
It is for this very reason that Chabad has increasingly become the popular choice of many Tufts students. Chabad is well known for its acceptance and love of all. Whether you are fluent in Hebrew and daven daily or aren’t familiar with Jewish tradition and have never had kosher food, rest assured you will have a comfortable, enjoyable, and meaningful experience with us.
If you want to expand your Jewish knowledge, we offer the means. Study Talmud over coffee, learn to speak Yiddish, and more. Check out all our learning opportunities here.
In the center of campus, Pax et Lox deli is certified glatt kosher, and you can get hot and cold sandwiches piled high with your choice of meat for just a meal swipe. Tufts Hillel also serves all kosher meals for Shabbat, holidays, and more!
And of course, Chabad meals are always kosher.
Shabbat dinners are five courses, including gefilte fish, a myriad of fresh salads, and a steaming bowl of matzoball soup, followed by vegetables, chicken, maybe rice, noodles, or kugel, and Chanie's famous butternut pie, plus dessert courtesy of the Backman children.
We kick off the year with a kosher Labor Day barbecue. Rosh Hashanah features melt-in-your-mouth brisket. Chanukah means not just sufganiyot but a decked-out fill-your-own donut bar. Two seders as well as lunch and dinner every day will last your through Passover. Tu B'Shvat? Oh, you mean Fondue B'Shvat. Purim buffets include franks-in-blanks and fried chicken. Our Yiddish class culminates with a luncheon highlighting blintzes, latkes, and other foods from the Old Country.
To make keeping kosher even easier, Chanie is available to purchase kosher meat for students. Just let her know what you would like, and come pick it up and pay at the Chabad House when she returns from the butcher.
And once a week we offer a Kosher dinner buffet, with a rotating culinary theme!
If you're curious about keeping kosher, Rabbi Tzvi and Chanie are always available to answer any questions!
"Is there kosher food on campus?"
"So how does Shabbat work? Do I just show up?"
While we work toward the end of the pandemic, we cannot host in-person Shabbat dinners, so they will take a hybrid format instead: a Zoom call and a Shabbat-To-Go package. You can RSVP on the Calendar page, on the homepage, or by text message every week. RSVPs must be in before 6pm that Thursday.
Come pick up your Shabbat-To-Go kit from the Chabad house between 3:30 and 5:30pm on Friday. This kit will be replete with all the delicious food you know and love, as well as candles and some other essentials to make your Shabbat meal special!
ONCE THINGS GET BACK TO NORMAL:
Anyone is welcome at Shabbat, and RSVPs, while not mandatory, are greatly appreciated. Directions to the house are in the footer below.
If you show up at 6pm, you'll get to enjoy Kabbalat Shabbat services. Otherwise you can show up at 6:45pm for Kiddush and a delicious five-course meal.
We have a strict "come and go as you please" policy, so think of the Chabad House as coming home to celebrate with your own family. Let yourself in, let yourself out. Most people leave after dessert around 8:15pm, while others stay until past 11pm.
Through September, you and your friends can meet a peer representative at one of our three Shabbos Stops (in front of Carmichael, Dewick, or Hodgdon) any time between 6:15-6:30pm to walk over to Chabad together. Just look for the sign!
Here are some things you can count on happening your first time:
Someone will probably give you a hug.
Rabbi Tzvi and Chanie will come over and introduce themselves. They'll likely have a cousin in your hometown.
You'll eat way too much because every next course you think, "This must be the main course," and then it isn't.
Over dinner you'll engage in conversation with a student you've never met before and who might just end up being one of your best friends.
One of Rabbi Tzvi and Chanie's younger children will ask to play with you. Careful—if you get sucked into a game of Scrabble or Battleship, time flies.
You won't understand how dessert could taste this good. And wait a minute, you're telling me this is non-dairy?!
You'll go home with a smile on your face.
We're trying our hardest to ensure you feel the same warmth and love that you would any other year. To do this, some opportunities will look a little different—Shabbat dinners, for example, take the form of a sweet Shabbat-To-Go package and opportunity to socialize via Zoom.