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Student newspaper serving Tulane University, Uptown New Orleans

The Tulane Hullabaloo

Student newspaper serving Tulane University, Uptown New Orleans

The Tulane Hullabaloo

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Chabad hosts Tulane’s largest Shabbat

Tulane Chabad hosted its largest Shabbat 1000 celebration, seeing around 1,500 Jewish and non-Jewish students gather to celebrate in honor of the victims of Oct. 7. (Mali Weitzman)

Rabbi Leibel Lipskier and his wife Mushka Lipskier hosted Tulane Chabad’s largest Shabbat dinner last Friday, Feb. 2. 

Shabbat 1000 is an annual event that draws crowds of Jewish and non-Jewish students alike. This year’s Shabbat dinner drew in approximately 1,500 people to the LBC Quad, making it the largest Shabbat hosted by Tulane Chabad. 

Chabad also hosts other Jewish community events like weekly “ChaBBQ” dinners, Shabbat dinners, holiday ceremonies and more.

The event took on extra significance after Hamas, a Palestinian terrorist group, attacked Israel on Oct. 7, killing over 1,200 Israelis and taking hundreds hostage. 

During the ceremony, the Lipskiers and other student speakers urged all attendants to pray for the victims of the Oct. 7 attack. Each table prayed for a hostage. 

“The fact that they’re dedicating the Shabbat 1000 to the victims of Oct. 7 and Israel is just such a powerful message,” sophomore and Chabad board member Elana Passmore said. “I’m really happy that I get to support it.”

Amid rising antisemitism on college campuses, Jewish community events have begun to feature more security and heightened emotions among Jewish college students. According to Mushka Lipskier, organizers added more security measures this year. Tulane security monitored the event and did not allow larger bags in, although they checked smaller ones.

Tulane sophomore Ben Siegal explained that this event fostered a sense of community among both Jewish and non-Jewish students, allowing them to come together in a secular location. 

“[We have] a lot of the Jewish population, a lot of the non-Jews, just everyone has one community, one Tulane community to come together at a time that there’s so much separation,” Siegal said. 

Senior Tulane student and Chabad board member Julia Fruchtman explained the measures that organizers took this year when planning Shabbat 1000 with consideration to the increase in antisemitism. 

“We had to increase security a little, but I don’t think it’s a problem for anyone. I mean, it’s a problem we had to think about it, but I don’t feel afraid,” Fruchtman said. 

Fruchtman also elaborated on the meaning of Shabbat 1000 this year and what it means to Jews at Tulane during the Israel-Hamas war. 

“We are showing everyone that we’re not cowering, we’re being stronger,” Fruchtman said.  

“Students have expressed how amazing it is to display their Jewish identity and being proud without fear or intimidation,” Mushka Lipskier said.

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