Left to right: Rabbis Chaim Boyarsky, Moshe Goldman, Mordechai Silberberg, Chanoch Rosenfeld, Chalom Loeub and Zalman Zaltzman. (photo from Chabad UBC)
A delegation of rabbis who direct Chabad centres across Canada came to Vancouver last month, on Dec. 10. The purpose of the visit was to get a firsthand understanding of the day-to-day operations of the Chabad Jewish Student Centre at the University of British Columbia, which was established in 2013 by Rabbi Chalom and Esti Loeub.
The delegation included Rabbi Mordechai Silberberg, director of Chabad at University of Western Ontario; Rabbi Chanoch Rosenfeld, director of Chabad at McMaster University; Rabbi Moshe Goldman, director of Chabad of Wilfrid Laurier University and University of Waterloo; Rabbi Zalman Zaltzman, director of Chabad at Brock University; and Rabbi Chaim Boyarsky, director of the Chabad Student Network, which caters to Carleton University and University of Ottawa.
The rabbis direct their respective Chabad centres together with their wives, who are equally responsible for all of their operations. While each Chabad centre caters to the needs of its specific university students, there are some signature programs that all of them run. Weekly home-cooked Shabbat dinners free of charge, the Sinai Scholars Society, and holiday meals and services are some examples. Chabad of Western University, which was established in 1999, hosts hundreds of students every Friday night for Shabbat dinners, many of them Vancouver natives.
The rabbis began their visit at Café FortyOne, where they met with Rabbi Yitzchak Wineberg, executive director of Chabad Lubavitch of British Columbia. Wineberg briefed them on the history of Chabad Lubavitch of Western Canada and his early days in Vancouver.
The group then headed to the AMS Student Nest at UBC, where they met and had lunch with the UBC Chabad student board, and heard about some of the activities that have been taking place on campus. At the Chabad Jewish Student Centre, they met with the Loeubs to discuss the operations and offer feedback. The day concluded with dinner at the Maple Grill followed by a farbrengen (Chassidic gathering).
“It meant a lot to us to have our colleagues fly across the country to visit us,” said Rabbi Loeub. “As we are one of the more recent Chabad on Campus centres to open in Canada, it was very helpful to hear words of advice and inspiration from these veteran directors.”
For more information about the programs offered at Chabad Jewish Student Centre-Vancouver, visit chabadubc.com or call Rabbi Loeub at 778-712-7703. For information on Chabad centres on national campuses and worldwide, visit chabadoncampus.org/directory.
Sue Silverman is a volunteer with Chabad Jewish Student Centre-Vancouver.