Chabad on Campus, student and other volunteers and Shabbat hosts made Shabbat Across UBC on Nov. 18 possible. (photos from Chabad at UBC)
On Nov. 18, more than 75 students celebrated Shabbat with Chabad on Campus at the University of British Columbia but, this time, they only arrived at Chabad after dinner. Instead of hosting the meal at the Chabad House as usual, there were six different dinners hosted by student volunteers in their residence buildings, after which the students met up at Chabad, where they shared dessert and got a chance to know one another.
Rabbi Chalom Loeub, who runs Chabad at UBC with his wife Esti, delivered food and supplies, and the hosts invited their friends and neighbors and ran the meal.
Cordelia Sank is a second-year UBC theatre production student, who volunteered to co-host a dinner in the Fairview Residence block. “Getting the chance to bring together all of the other Jewish students in my residence was very special and inspiring for me,” she said, “and I look forward to attending many more of these dinners in the future.”
The event was a big success, drawing in both seasoned Chabad members and new students, some of whom were experiencing Shabbat for the first time. UBC president Santa J. Ono wrote a letter of congratulation, praising the event as a “wonderful initiative … to build community at UBC.”
Hani Gorgy is a third-year exchange student visiting from Israel, who has attended many Shabbat meals, classes and programs at Chabad on Campus. “I’ve always felt that Shabbat dinner is a time of spiritual joy,” she said. “Being invited to Shabbat dinners here in Vancouver made me feel welcomed and safe. Meeting so many Jewish people here helped me feel like I’m part of the community.”
Weekly Shabbat dinners are only one of the programs that Chabad at UBC offers, including social programs, Torah classes, kosher meals on campus, support and holiday programming for the Jewish community at UBC and other colleges and universities across Vancouver.
The Shabbat Across UBC event was made possible by the sponsorship of the Jewish Federation of Greater Vancouver and the Marine Drive Superstore. Chef Menajem of Forty-One Catering created an impeccable spread, and the student volunteers and Shabbat hosts made this annual event a reality.
Sydney Switzer is a fourth-year student at Emily Carr University and president of the Chabad Jewish Student Club.