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The Tufts Daily
Where you read it first | Friday, June 21, 2024

Tufts Chabad sees record number in attendance for Shabbat dinner

The Rohr Chabad House at Tufts set a record for the number of people in attendance at its Friday night Shabbat dinner last week, with over 120 attendees.

Chabad Co-president Scott Halperin explained that the high turnout was a result of “easy advertising,” noting the event's enticing sushi theme.

“The sushi theme [is] a tradition for the first Shabbat of the semester,” he said.

Rabbi Tzvi Backman, who runs the Chabad at Tufts along with his wife, Chanie Backman, and their student board, said that the sushi theme “creates a bit of a hook.”

“Sushi always helps [bring people to the Chabad],” Mrs. Backman said. “There were a lot of different populations of students present.”

Halperin, a sophomore, said he looks to continue high turnout throughout this semester, as the organization provides classes on Jewish philosophy, kosher dinners on Monday nights and Shabbat dinner every Friday night. Halperin added that Chabad will also sponsor a bone marrow drive this semester.

Rabbi Backman attributed the popularity of Chabad to an active student board.

“The group of students that represent our board embody the message of Chabad,” Mrs. Backman added.

Halperin said he views the Chabad “as the Jewish home for anyone who is looking to be more affiliated with Judaism.”

“It is open-minded and has a homey feel,” he said. “It adds diversity; it provides a second Jewish organization with slightly more religious background. It is important to see different mindsets of sorts.”

Rabbi Backman also underscored the important role that Chabad plays for students at Tufts.

“People come back to school and continue the Judaism that they bring from home,” he said. “Chabad is an easy outlet for that ... [It] makes Judaism accessible, meaningful and enjoyable for the Jewish community [at Tufts].” He added that both Jewish and non-Jewish students who have experienced a Friday night dinner “have come and made it a meaningful experience.”

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