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London - Chabad's Plan to Double Campus Role Provokes Row

Published on: September 11, 2008 10:09 PM
By: The JC
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London - Chabad plans to double the number of full-time representatives it has at UK universities have angered the University Jewish Chaplaincy.

“We think it’s vital to avoid duplicating resources and are disappointed at the lack of discussion that has taken place over these plans,” said University Jewish Chaplaincy chief executive Rabbi Yoni Sherizen. “Sadly, there have been experiences of Chabad polarising student communities as a result of their working in isolation. This combined with the fact that many Chabad campus staff have wider communal responsibilities means that their focus is not exclusively on students.”

Until now, Chabad had five couples working with Jewish students in Oxford, Cambridge, University College London and the University of London, Brighton and Leeds. This month, it will send four additional couples to Bristol University, Imperial College London, Nottingham University and the University of Edinburgh. One more will serve several South London universities.

Rabbi Eli Brackman, chairman of Chabad on Campus UK, said the expansion was “extremely exciting”. “What we are doing is crucial for the future and continuity of Jewish life on UK campuses and Anglo-Jewry. They will provide a warm home away from home for all Jewish students - be they Orthodox, Liberal or Reform.”


He explained that the couples will respond to the needs of each campus. “If a certain university needs more Jewish education then they will arrange for that. Or if it is more social events that are needed then that is what they will provide.”

The initiative has been made possible by funding from an anonymous donor.


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Read Comments (15)  —  Post Yours »


 Sep 11, 2008 at 10:22 PM Anonymous Says:

I don't understand what the problem is with more kiruv. It is just the usual anti-chabad garbage!


 Sep 11, 2008 at 10:46 PM DallasJew Says:

yup I was thinking the same...sooo what else knew? The more they spread out the more they assist that average jewish joe..kol hakavod I wish them well.


 Sep 11, 2008 at 10:51 PM y Says:

just another case of a do-nothing organzation scared of chabad doing something on campus


 Sep 11, 2008 at 11:35 PM Anonymous Says:

I am NOT a pro-Chabadnik by any stretch of the imagination. But if the other University Jewish Chaplaincy factions don't like being outnumbered in the field by Chabad, then they are certainly welcome to add more personnel to their cadres.


 Sep 11, 2008 at 11:49 PM Lock & Load Says:

You people Again......
Lock & Load


 Sep 12, 2008 at 05:44 AM Anonymous Says:

Noone will be able to stop the Chabad tidal wave, they have the manpower and the ability to do the job! Spoken by a non-Lbavitcher because it is just the way it is out there.

Noone can rival Chabad's capacity to put out young shluchim and shluchos and noone can rival their enthusiasm and the uniqueness of their product, the Tanya and Rebbishe teachings and farbrengens with vodka and cholnt on Shabbos, not to mention their sincere warmth and friendship they use to mekarev secular Jews.


 Sep 12, 2008 at 12:40 AM knowledgable Says:

what does it mean to polarise student communities? in my opinion this article seems to be very one-sided.


 Sep 12, 2008 at 12:14 AM Yonason Says:

Lock and Load - Just curious: You ever had to actually fire a weapon in anger? It's not something to strut an attitude about.


 Sep 12, 2008 at 07:44 AM moshe Says:

in fact it was the University Jewish Chaplaincy who stopped funding to "orthodox looking rabbis" since they do not meet the requirements of all the students.
they managed to kick out a chabad shliach who has been in the post for over 10 years, btu failed to kick out another, who fought back and won!
now chabad is fighting back, and has managed to get a very rich guy to fund 6 new chabad houses on campus.
and Rabbi Yoni Sherizen is very wrong, all the chabad shluchim on campus are exclusively for the students


 Sep 12, 2008 at 08:11 AM political analyst Says:

what a cheap shot at chabad- chabad is not doubling personnel at any particular university- rather they are bringing personnel to universities that didn't already have chabad as a fixture on campus. if anyone has a problem with this let them increase their own personnel. some people seem to forget that there's no monopoly nor competition to g-d & his torah. I always detested the term "kiruv proffesional" althought I certainly DO NOT detest kiruv proffesional. torah & mitzvos ain't a business. althoough certaintly everyone is entitled to earn a learn a living regardless of what line of work they go into. it's a fine line to walk on & I commend those that are able to do it.


 Sep 12, 2008 at 04:10 PM Anonymous Says:

Kudos to Chabad for sending people with mesiras nefesh to all the forsaken parts of the world, leaving family and friends, leaving the comforts of easily accessabale kosher food, etc. in order to help other Jews. Tremendous Kidush Hashem. Keep up your good work. I contribute what I can to them so that I can have a small part of their zchus.


 Sep 13, 2008 at 07:30 PM RB Says:

Oh Moshe you don;'t know what you are talking about. They do have plenty of orthodox rabbis within the chaplaincy.


 Sep 13, 2008 at 07:29 PM RB Says:

This is an outrage and if you had any knowledge about the Jewish Chaplaincy and those that work in it you will know that the Jewish Chaplaincy cannot fund more chaplains. Chabad are taking away the livelyhood of the chaplains that are in charge of the students at the universities.
Chabad are all taking away the donations that would originally have gone to the student chaplain becuase the unsuspecting public think Chabad are the chaplains.
Also student chaplains don't only offer a meal on shabbat for students, they help the students with real life troubles that a cholent will not help.
They sort out any anti-semitism the student may encounter at universities and they also make sure a student can take exams at an earlier date of the exams fall on yom tov. Because the chaplain is licensed he can do these. What can Chabad do? Pass around some rebbe cards and invite them for a meal. When a student is suicidal how will chanting yechi help him? When a student is hooked on drugs and needs directions to a rehabilitation clinic, how will eating chicken soup help him?
Chabad are clearly wrong and they shouldn't be pushing themselves in where they are not needed or wanted.


 Sep 14, 2008 at 05:50 AM to RB Says:

What are you on about!!
The Chaplains are on a wage from the national Chaplaincy board and do not need public donations.
So all Chabad do is give cholent and chicken soup and hand out Rebbe cards!
You are obviously very satisfied with the current situation of Yiddishkeit on Campus where all students are currently Shomer Shabbos, Kashrus etc with regualar shiurim, and therefore no additional Jewish input is needed.
You are either clearly delusional or just trying to cause a fight as we approach R"H.


 Sep 15, 2008 at 07:01 AM anon Says:

to rb, as a student who was suicidal at university, your critique of chabad not being able to help is complete rubbish.they helped me greately both in terms of ruchnius and gashmius with the utmost kindness and ahavas yisroel and without anything like yechi chanting or rebbe cards which were completely absent from the beit chabad where i was at university in the uk, where there was also a chaplain who i hardly related to (neither did he to me).


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