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Chabad on Campus Signature Programs

Chabad-Lubavitch student centers continually develop innovative programs that seek to engage their campus communities with vibrant, substantive Jewish programming. While programming at local centers is student-driven and reflective of the individual campus community, a number of unique programs and initiatives have proven remarkably successful on many campuses with varied student demographics. The best of these programs have been designated as Chabad on Campus Signature Programs.

Programs considered for Signature status are vetted for pedagogical effectiveness and their potential appeal to the widest array of campus communities. While these programs contain certain standard features they take on slightly different styles and flavors at the various campuses.

Centers presenting signature programs are authorized to use the following language in promotional materials: "This event is a Signature Program of the Chabad on Campus International Foundation."

Shabbat Dinner “Where Every Jew is Family”

At the pinnacle of the week stands Shabbat. Students are engaged by the Shabbat dinner experience that typically features multiple courses of home-cooked fare and words of wisdom along with a Chabad rabbi and rebbetzin along with some lovable children! These family-style Shabbat dinner experiences typically attract a wide range of students, that is far from homogeneous. Students are able to mingle socially with their peers in a welcoming, non-judgmental environment.

Shabbat 1000

Pioneered by the Chabad House Jewish Student Center at SUNY Binghamton in 1994, Shabbat 1000 is perhaps the single most ambitious Shabbat program to be launched by any Jewish student organization--or synagogue--anywhere. The goal is to unite a diverse mass of Jewish students in a meaningful Jewish experience by providing the now famous Chabad Shabbat dinner experience to a broader audience.

In an effort to unify campus communities through this program, the Chabad center typically invites other Jewish organizations on campus to co-sponsor this effort. Most crucial however, is the way in which this program empowers the students to reach out and bring their friends--as their personal guests--to this program. Shabbat 1000 has proven to be a potent catalyst for invigorating Jewish life on campus; it has served as a portal to the Jewish campus community for thousands of students who were previously uninvolved.

Sinai Scholars Society

The Sinai Scholars Society offers a fresh and exciting context for Jewish life and learning on university campuses. It is an integrated program encompassing Torah study, social activities, and national networking opportunities that introduces students to the contemporary significance of the Jewish experience. Participants have the chance to interact with other students across the country as well as distinguished figures from the world of business and public life as they engage in this unique prospect for Jewish self-discovery. The curriculum at the Sinai Scholars Society doesn’t just pick up where Hebrew school left off. The courses present the living tradition of authentic Jewish scholarship. Addressed are important issues in modern life in light of the ancient sources, giving students a chance to find their voice in a discussion that stretches across three millennia.

Pizza ‘n Parsha

Enjoy some of the best kosher pizza in town and a lively discussion on the weekly Torah portion. This class is often offered in the university quadrangle or other public venue, affording greater publicity to the event, and easy access for students to drop-in.

Purim Carnival

Purim is celebrated with a grand carnival with the proceeds being donated to a worthy philanthropic organization. The carnival typically features booths, games, and music, and is spearheaded by the Chabad student leaders with co-sponsorship that may include other Jewish groups on campus, fraternities and sororities, residential communities, the campus dining service, and others. The carnival was first conceived and executed by the Chabad House Jewish Student Center at SUNY Binghamton in 1990. It has since become an anchor program at the Binghamton University campus, and is replicated on campuses nationwide. On some campuses the event is dubbed "pour me Purim."

Mezuza Lend-A-Way

Provides Kosher Mezuzot to student for their rooms, usually for a nominal deposit. Typically, this program is done in the beginning of the semester, and often run in tandem with a Mezuzah-case making program.

Kosher Cooking Club

Students are engaged in a series of cooking lessons, demonstrating both cooking techniques and educating about the principles of Kosher.

Kabbalates

This program was conceived at Ohio State University’s Schottenstein Chabad House and quickly spread to many campuses across the country. It engages fitness/health-conscious students by coupling the mystical teachings of Chasidus and Kabbalah with professional Pilates classes.

Mitzvah Marathon

Beginning on the first anniversary after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Chabad Houses across the country elected to transform this day of horror and evil into a day of goodness and kindness. Students typically "pledge" to do a good deed in memory of a terrorist victim. Indeed, each pledge card carries the name and photo of a man, woman or child who perished on 9/11. Started on September 11, 2002 on the SUNY Binghamton campus, this uplifting event is now coordinated by Chabad Student Centers on more than 20 campuses, often with the co-sponsorship of the university or other campus organizations.

Linking Hearts

Linking Hearts extends a helping hand to families who have children with special needs and involves them in a full range of social and Jewish experiences. This unique program introduces student volunteers to the children and through shared experiences both are enriched.

Jewish Heritage Week on Campus

This program was conceived to allow Jews to express their Jewish pride and identity at colleges and universities worldwide. Usually held right in the center of campus, this series of events allows students to partake in various forms of Jewish life during each day of that week. Examples include "Mitzvah Monday" where students can raise funds and pack sandwiches for the homeless or "Friday Light" where students can find out more about Shabbat.

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