On Oct. 14, the Rohr Chabad Center at the University of Colorado Boulder hosted a Friday night Shabbat dinner in the Sukkah, a hut-like structure used during Sukkot, for Family Weekend. The Sukkah is located at the Rohr Chabad Center at the University of Colorado Boulder on 14th Street.
Shabbat at Chabad is a popular event that takes place every Friday at the University of Colorado Boulder. Shabbat at Chabad is very special during the family weekend because Jewish families from all across the country come together and connect with others. Students and families indulge in meals cooked by volunteers at the Chabad. Shabbat at Chabad provides students with meaningful Jewish experiences in an inclusive and welcoming environment.
“The purpose of Shabbat has always been about celebrating with family and community,” said Leah Wilhelm, the director of the Chabad. “Shabbat is a pause in time. We’re a Jewish family for everyone at CU.”
The Rohr Chabad Center at CU Boulder is a partnership between students and staff. Chabad is not limited to just Jewish students and is open to all students across campus. The Chabad offers volunteering opportunities and cutting-edge programming including Friday night services and membership in The Sinai Scholars Society, a national association for Jewish university students. The organization provides Jewish students with an inclusive environment where they can gain a deeper appreciation of their Jewish heritage and connect with other like-minded students on campus.
While learning about the history of Judaism, the Chabad not only educates students about their identity but inspires and empowers students to get in touch with themselves.
“Our motto is a home away from home for every Jewish Buff,” Wilhelm said. “Jewish students become more knowledgeable about Judaism and own it, wearing it proudly, being comfortable, open and proud about who they are.”
Chabad’s pride is in its traditional celebrations of Jewish holidays such as Purim, Passover, Shabbat, Sukkot, Simchat Torah, and Chanukah. The holidays are celebrated with delicious Jewish food like challah, babka, matza ball soup, tzatziki, cucumber salad and vegetarian and vegan options.
“Shabbat is preceded by the sipping of ceremonial Kiddush wine and the breaking of traditional challah bread and lingered over with songs, inspiring thoughts and camaraderie,” Wilhelm said. “Guests are considered an integral part of any Shabbat meal. Your hosts are pleased to have you. Their meal just would not feel right otherwise!”
Kiddush is done on Friday night or at the lunch preceding it. Kiddush is a prayer and blessing over wine, to sanctify the day has begun. It is to embrace responsibility for spreading light and love. Challah bread is significant in Jewish culture as well. Challah refers to the mitzvah (a blessing or good deed), made to last through the holiday, Friday and Saturday.
The Chabad Shabbat dinners are welcome to all students like CU sophomore Tierra Maclean, who felt immediately welcomed and at home at the celebrations. All are welcome no matter their background or affiliation at The Rohr Chabad Center at the CU.
“As a transfer student, being at the Chabad has helped me connect with like-minded individuals and get to know more people,” Maclean said. “It’s helped me branch out.”
It’s a place where students can socialize in a comfortable place with great friends, fantastic food, and stimulating discussions in a judgment-free environment.
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Alexa Arnowitz at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Cory Arnowitz at Cory.Arnowitz@colorado.edu.