No headline provided

No headline provided

Sheri Balsam

More than 1,000 people will join the Tulane Chabad Center for dinner tonight for its fifth Shabbat 1,000 event hosted at the Reily Recreation Center.

“Tulane started Shabbat 1,000 in 2007,” Chabad Rabbi Yochanan Rivkin said. “We were looking for ways to expand involvement in the Jewish community at Tulane, which was fairly small back then. There was a large Jewish population but engagement levels were fairly low.”

A committee of students formed that took some ideas from Chabads at other schools, which had previously organized Shabbat 1,000 events at University of Pittsburgh and SUNY Binghamton.

The Chabad family and Chabad-attending students cooked fresh kosher meals, set up the tables and chairs and organized publicity in preparation for the event. One hundred and twenty students will serve as table heads for the event, each making sure that at least eight people sit at their table.

“Shabbat 1,000 was something I’ve wanted to be involved with since I went for the first time sophomore year,” senior Naomi Malam said. “An event like this increases awareness and allows people of other religions to be exposed to traditions and practices they would otherwise never have the opportunity to do.”

Rivkin said he received positive feedback about the past Shabbat 1,000 events, especially about the sense of community that Shabbat 1,000 creates and the amount of organization involved.

“The past two years were so wonderful and full of people from all parts of my life that I knew I wanted to do it again,” senior Madison Asher said. “My parents were in town both years, and the last year we had it, I had so many people at my table that I had to put two tables together.”

Rivkin said that Shabbat 1,000 provides a sense of community for involved students.

“I think that people have a lot going on during their time at Tulane, and it is important to have a high-profile Jewish event that will help everyone remember the importance of carving out time to celebrate Jewish tradition,” Rivkin said. “I also think that people leave the event feeling really good about being part of it, and it reminds people that when they make time for a meaningful activity, it can be very rewarding.”

Senior Justin Klein said he has been a table head in the past and is excited to be one again.

“It’s my last year to have the opportunity to do something like this, and I want do something to bring people from all the circles of my life together,” Klein said. “Some people at my table aren’t Jewish, but it will be nice to share with them some of the traditions I grew up with.”

Leave a Comment