This weekend, Shabbos Parshas Vayera (November 3-5), more than 1,000 college and university students with their campus Shluchim and Shluchos from more than 100 schools around the world will be coming to Crown Heights for the largest Chabad on Campus student Pegisha ever.
Shluchim are still looking for gracious residents who can host students for the weekend, for sleeping (Friday and Motzoei Shabbos) and/or Friday night Shabbos dinner.
The following is a message from Rabbi Eli Moshe and Mirel Levitansky, Directors of Chabad at S. Monica College, on behalf of all the campus Shluchim:
As Shluchim on campus, many of my colleagues deal with great mesiras nefesh with a constant uphill battle, inspiring and serving hundreds of Jewish students every week. Around this time each year, though, we are reminded that we’re not alone.
Seeing the unbelievable Hachnosas Orchim with which the residents of Crown Heights open their doors, take care of our students, and put up with all of the tumult that goes along with such an endeavor – especially knowing that this comes so closely on the heels of an already very taxing month of Tishrei – is the greatest reminder that ‘Chassidim Ein Mishpocha,’ that we are part of a family of Chassidim who are true partners in our work.
Indeed, the students who come, year after year, walk away deeply inspired. They are touched by the exposure to a Chassidic community, by the festive meals and classes, by the visits to 770 and the Ohel. But more often than not, what they are most affected by are their hosts. By the thought that families would open their doors to complete strangers, show them such warmth and even lend them their keys!
So before we descend on your homes and lives for a couple of days, I wanted to take this opportunity – on behalf of Chabad on Campus International and on behalf of each and every one of the Shluchim and Shluchos – to thank you for your hospitality and for the impact you will have on our students’ lives!
I have been asked to reiterate the following point. (Although it may seem superfluous – Ein mezarzin elah lemzurazin): The majority of students you will see on the streets have a long-standing developing relationship with Chabad on their campus. In almost every case, the Shliach and Shlucha have prepared the student, and to the extent possible, gently highlighted behaviors that may be out of place in this neighborhood. What these students gain most from the people they meet is the simple and straightforward Ahavas Yisroel that Crown Heights is built upon.
If they are doing something Halachically inappropriate – smoking, taking a picture, or carrying an umbrella on Shabbos, to name but a few possibilities – please remember these people are on a journey in their Yiddishkeit. Past experience has shown that positive and uplifting experiences help them grow in their Yiddishkeit, while well-intentioned instructions about Hilchos Shabbos or other matters don’t have the desired effect…
Along the same lines, times have changed drastically in the attitudes that most universities and parents have towards students drinking alcohol. We respectfully remind you to please not serve mashke at all, especially to anyone under the legal age of 21 (most of the students), to avoid any negative results and possible legal liabilities chas v’sholom.
Again, thank you! May all of our efforts be met with hatzlacha, may we achieve our goal of bringing nachas to the Rebbe, and may we immediately all together celebrate the ultimate kibutz goliyos with the coming of Moshiach Now!