Chabad celebrates Hanukkah with 40 opportunities for college students, young adults

Beginning on the first evening of Hanukkah, Sunday, Dec. 6, and extending through Monday, Dec. 14, Chabad aims to make the holiday’s universal message of religious freedom tangibly accessible to students all across the St. Louis region.

This year, Hanukkah occurs during the academic semester, which is reason to “go all out” according to Rabbi Hershey Novack, director of Chabad on Campus, the Rohr Center for Jewish Life. The organization plans to facilitate and support about 40 Hanukkah events this season.

Washington University undergrads will construct a giant Menorah out of cans of food donated by fellow students. The “Cannorah,” a visible symbol of the spirit of giving, will then be deconstructed and donated to the Harvey Kornblum Jewish Food Pantry. Other programs for the Wash U undergrad community include community Menorah lightings, a “midnight breakfast” study break, and stepped-up outreach to the residential and Greek communities.

The JGrads program, supported by a grant from Jewish Federation, will engage graduate students and young adults, placing Hanukkah baskets at most graduate schools in the region, hosting local school-based study breaks and Hanukkah celebrations, and also convene a city-wide event on Thursday, Dec. 10.

A special emphasis for 2015 will be to involve students at University of Missouri – St. Louis in the holiday spirit. Programs at UMSL include “tabling” before and during the holiday, along with an on-campus Hanukkah party, and a study group.

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An additional impetus for heightened activities is the Jewish calendar; this is a Year of Hakhel, a year of Jewish unity, on the Seven-Year Sabbatical Cycle.

 Students and young adults who wish to get involved should visit chabadoncampus.org.

Parents and friends who wish to support Chabads can visit chabadoncampus.org/donate or mail Chabad at 7018 Forsyth Blvd., St. Louis Mo. 63105.