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Jewish students from KSU, MU and KU unite at Chabad

This group of students gathered at KU Chabad recently for Shabbat dinner.

A group of K-State, Mizzou and KU students all walk into a room together ... sounds like a joke right? Wrong! On a recent Friday evening in November, Chabad at the University of Kansas hosted tens of young college students for a delightful Shabbat dinner. On the surface it seemed like just another week at Chabad, but truthfully this was a unique blend of many different college kids from schools that are usually so far apart.

As a student at the University of Kansas, this was the craziest thing to me. {mprestriction ids="1,3"}It was something I never thought would actually happen. I always knew that coming to KU was a wonderful decision, but it wasn’t until this amazing Shabbat dinner that I truly discovered why it was one of the best decisions I ever made.

Chabad is this warm, friendly, welcoming space that provides so much to Jewish students at the University. From educational classes, to social events, to Shabbat dinners it never ends at Chabad. There is something special about Shabbat at KU Chabad though. On Friday nights something fills the air — it’s the aroma of delicious kosher chicken and matzah ball soup. It’s something so powerful and inspiring that it makes you want to pack your bags and catch the next flight to Israel.

For this incredible Shabbat dinner we had 85 students from all three universities sharing stories of what Jewish life is like on their campus. We discussed commonalities and differences along with ideas of successful Jewish programming on campus. It was a spectacular night that had everyone smiling from ear to ear.

K-State student Rotem Arieli told us it was incredible to see so many Jewish college students all together sharing prayers, food, laughter and fun.

“Rabbi Zalman made the experience incredible and it was obvious that everyone was so excited to be there. The upbeat songs and the jokes and the amazing story at the end all added up to an extraordinary night for KSU Hillel, and we will definitely be joining KU Chabad again in the future.”

Jeremy Katz, a student at Missouri, also told us, “Coming from a college community with so few Jewish students, it was incredible to be part of such a vibrant Jewish college scene.”

“Although we did not know anyone in the room, we felt so welcomed and embraced like family,” he concluded.

In the Torah portion we’ve been discussing the theme of “ufaratzta”— spreading forth. G-d blessed our forefather that their offspring will spread forth in all directions and transform the world. As a lesson to all of the students that were at Shabbat dinner, we can remember to go back to our campuses and spread forth the amazing experience we had. Sharing the incredible experience of Shabbat is something extraordinary and in this time of darkness around the world, a little spark of light can do wonders.

Rebeka Luttinger is a junior at the University of Kansas from Dallas, Texas, majoring in journalism. She is president of KU Chabad.{/mprestriction}