Chabad Serving Drexel will host Shabbat 100 June 8 to celebrate the Jewish Sabbath and end of the school year with prayers and lots of food.
The event is open to all Jewish students and anyone who would like the opportunity to participate in the Jewish Sabbath. Chabad Serving Drexel hopes to draw a large crowd of at least 100 people for Shabbat 100, anticipating that the end of the year will bring about a record number of attendees.
“Every single weekend we actually provide Shabbat dinner here on Friday night, and we have between 40 to 60 students that usually attend,” Rabbi Chaim Goldstein, co-director of the Chabad house, said.
He added, “[Shabbat 100] is in honor of the conclusion of the official school year. The goal is to get at least 100 students to come and celebrate the Shabbat dinner. … This week is a bigger deal.”
At the backyard barbecue, which will start at 8:30 p.m., attendants can expect to find kugel, matzah ball soup, peanut butter brownies, and over 100 pounds of freshly baked challah, Goldstein said. His wife, Moussia Goldstein, who is the other co-director for Chabad Serving Drexel, will cook all of the food for the event with the help of student volunteers.
Friday evening will be based around the traditional Shabbat dinner. A ceremony called Kiddush will sanctify the day, followed by a four-course dinner and plenty of music. Students who have attended Shabbat before know to expect lots of food and a good time, Chaim Goldstein said.
“You’re expected to come and eat, and if you can’t, we’ll be happy you came anyways,” Moussia Goldstein said.
Shabbat in Judaism is a tradition that goes back to creationism, commemorating the time after God created the world. It is celebrated every Friday at sundown and concludes Saturday at nightfall.
“The Torah says God created the world in six days and God rested on the seventh day. And for that he established and commanded the Jewish people that they should also commemorate the day of rest, the day to spend with the family, to enjoy the day, enjoy food, and spiritually energize yourself for the rest of the week,” Chaim Goldstein said.
Shabbat 100 will take place at the Chabad House, located at 3507 Baring St. The house on Drexel’s campus is one of 150 Chabad houses on other campuses, Chaim Goldstein said. Every year, the houses give themselves a number, which acts as a goal for the number of attendees they hope to have. Chaim Goldstein said that some houses set their number to 500 while others set theirs to 1,000.
He said that having Shabbat 100 was a good place to start with Drexel, though he hopes for it to reach 1,000 or more sometime in the future.
Shabbat is not the only event to take place in the Chabad House. Around the clock, Jewish students enter for various reasons, knowing that the house will always be a place for them to stay. “A home away from home” is the motto of the house and a phrase commonly used by the Goldsteins.
Chabad at Drexel is a student center that focuses on providing Jewish activities, classes, counseling, programs and holiday services. Its weekly calendar provides lists of events and activities, centered on allowing students to maintain their Jewish faith while away from home.
Different weekly events that the house offers include “Bagels, Lox n’ Teffilin,” or “BLT,” which takes place every Sunday at 11 a.m. and involves Jewish men wrapping Teffilin and a bagel in lox for breakfast, and ‘Moussia’s Kitchen,’ which involves baking, cooking and creating dishes to honor Shabbat or any other Jewish holiday with the co-director every Thursday at 7 p.m. Another event, “Tanya n’ Lasagna,” encourages students to enjoy fresh lasagna while reading the mystical book of Tanya every Monday at 6 p.m.
Other events that the Chabad House offers include Torah classes, prayer services, events for every Jewish holiday, and a kosher meal plan.
“[At the Chabad House,] stereotypes are broken,” Moussia Goldstein said. “There is no such distinction between what you grew up knowing. … [Here] you come together. We don’t need to categorize. We are all brothers.”
To get involved with Chabad Serving Drexel, the Goldsteins both encouraged anyone to come to Shabbat 100 so that they might get a better understanding of what this Jewish community is like.
“I think people should get to know that there is a Chabad house, that it is literally a home away from home to discover Jewish life. If [students] just want a place to hang out 24/7, there are programs every day of the week,” Chaim Goldstein said.