Meet Rabbi Tzvi and Chanie
What in Heaven's name do you have in common with these people?
They look like they just stepped out of a scene from Fiddler. But when it
comes to Tufts University and nurturing its Jewish students, they’re an
institution in their own right.
Getting to know them is easier than it looks. For while they may dress
Yiddish, they speak English. And you’ll find them right there on campus
—a non-judgmental, open, friendly beacon of light amidst an array of
political agendas, counter-cultures, missionaries and isms all vying for
your mind or your body or both.
What does the Chabad House offer you?
For starters, a Friday night bowl of incredibly delicious, homemade chicken soup, preceded by gefilte fish and followed by a main course that would have done your great-grandmother proud. The price of admission to this feast? Zip. And you don’t have to dress up for the occasion. You don’t have to recite your Bar/Bat Mitzvah speech. You don’t have to memorize any blessings. You can come and go, participate or remain silent as you wish. The only strings attached are on the rabbi's prayer shawl.
So how can a bowl of Friday night chicken soup make you a better student? For one thing, it provides an island of peace after a week of intense academic and social pressure. Beyond that, it gives you the opportunity to socialize with other students who care to identify themselves with their Judaism, regardless of affiliation... no clubs, no cliques, no rushes, no memberships.
You’re Jewish and you belong. Period.
(But there’s more.)
As you’ll come to find out, the Chabad House is there for you 24 hours a day. Have a problem with your girlfriend or boyfriend? They’ve heard it all before and can give you the kind of advice about modern relationships your friends can't. Can't focus on your studies? Call the Chabad House.
They are heirs to a tradition of study that goes back 3,000 years. And there’s nothing like an expert's experience to help you through those tough times. Having a problem with your folks back home? You’re not the first one. The Chabad House has helped hundreds just like you, and they’ll help you too.
By now you’re asking yourself, "What’s in it for them?"
To understand this you have to know where they’re coming from. As representatives of the worldwide Chabad-Lubavitch Movement, the Backmans, like their counterparts on campuses everywhere in the US and throughout the world, are dedicated to bringing Jewish warmth where it is most needed - to providing a Jewish home away from home.
For some this need is filled through a short-term interest free loan. For some it is a place to go for a traditional kosher meal or to celebrate a Jewish holiday or festival. For some it is a way to meet other Jewish young people. For some it is a sensitive ear into which to pour out one's heart. They do this because this is what Judaism is all about.
Because despite differences in appearance, all Jews do have a great deal in common—in Heaven's Name.