Observant Jewish Life Memo 

Welcome to WashU! Chabad builds community and rates a welcoming space for students of all Jewish backgrounds and affiliations. Students who choose to follow a religiously observant Jewish lifestyle are pillars of the campus community and exemplars to their peers. We- along with many campus partners- offer opportunities and resources that enable students to maintain a meaningful sense of Jewish involvement while in college. 

Members of the campus community celebrate with each other during good times, and support each other during the challenging ones. Our team is always available for students and their families. If you have any questions, please contact Rabbi Hershey Novack at 314-757-2884 or Chana R. Novack at 314-359-0085. 

Kosher Food

Kosher food, prepared by WashU Dining Services, is readily available in camps. Hot lunches and dinners are served Sunday through Thursday in the Bears’ Den Eatery on the South 40, the main dining area for First Year Students and Sophomores. 

Pre-packaged sandwiches and salads are available at most campus eateries for purchase with cash or dining pints. Look for the blue Kosher stickers 

During Pesach, Dining Services provides Kosher-for-Pesach meals as well as pre-packaged options available for purchase. 

These meals are certified Kosher by the Va’ad Hoeir of St. Lois. Visit their website at www.ovkosher.org

For information on Shabbat and Holiday meals, read on. 

Shabbat at Chabad WashU

Shabbat Dinner- Over 150 students attend the family-style Shabbat dinner held at Chabad every Friday evening. This is the largest gathering of Jewish students at WashU each week. A wonderful land diverse group of students choose to participate, together building the campus community. Prospective students, parents, professors, and other guests often join as well. Shabbat dinner also continues during some school breaks. 

Shabbat dinners are sponsored by families, alumni, and community members who help provide these festive meals to students at no charge. 

Post-Shabbat Dinner- Onegs, Farbrengens, and social activities- including board games, coffee, and tea- take place most Friday nights, either at the Chabad House or at nearby student apartments. 

Shabbat Lunch- After services conclude on Shabbat morning, the “Shabbos lunch community” comes together to enjoy a delicious and festive weekly meal. 

Shabbat Spot and Seudah Shlishit- The Chabad House is open all Shabbos with a stocked refrigerator for students to lounge, grab a bite to eat, and hang out! About an hour before the conclusion of Shabbos, students gather for a light meal and soulful singing, which are followed by Ma’ariv and Havdalah. 

Eruv- Chabad has partnered with the St. Louis Eruv committee to include most of WashU’s Danforth campus within the Erug. All of the South 40, most of the academic buildings, the Chabad House, Hillel, and all local orthodox congregations are within the Eruv. 

    *Please note: the Eruv does not include Kemper Art Museum, the Loop Lofts, the Moonrise     Hotel, Cheshire Inn, or any of Forest Park. More at www.stleruv.org

Shabbat Keys- Mechanical keys are available for Shomer Shabbos students through a partnership with Residential Life. If you would like to request a mechanical key, please reach out to Rabbi Novack. 

Services and Minyan

The Chabad House hosts a student lead Shacharit, Mincha, and Ma’ariv Minyanim on weekdays. The minyan meats during the academic semester. Please email Rabbi Hershey to be put on the Minyan text list and confirm the times of minyan. 

Each Friday evening Shabbat morning, and afternoon we host Shabbat services. Kabbalat Shabbat tends to include a lot of singing Kotel Style. Shabbat day Minyan has Torah reading often by students reading their Bar Mitzvah Parsha!  Kaddish can always be recited if there is a student who has a need. There are also a number of Shuls in the community, including Bais Abraham on the Delmar Loop. Further West on Delmar are the Bais Menachem (Chabad), Young Israel, and several others.

Jewish Holidays 

Jewish holidays are a special time to develop community. Chabad hosts Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur services and holiday meals. For Sukkot, we construct a large Sukkah in the lot behind the Chabad House and another on the main campus. 

Chabad also helps students to find hospitality with observant families proximate to campus. Students may also sign up for home hospitality using our Google Doc matching system.  

Holiday Exams- Under recent guidelines that were sought by enterprising undergraduates, WashU faculty members ought to be understanding and accommodating of students who face religious conflicts with exam scheduling. If there are any difficulties, please contact Rabbi Novack. 

Torah Learning

Torah study is available in a variety of settings, and many students choose to participate. 

Chabad hosts a Beit Midrash - style program called the ARI Fellowship. Additionally, we host lunch-and-learn programs throughout the year, and help set up Chavrusas with a peer or with a professional educator. There is also a weekly Gemara Shiur, a Mishmar (learning gathering) hosted by students with refreshments provided by Chabad. Chabad also offers classes in Chasidus. 

The Chabad house has a library of hundreds of Sefarim that are available for students to study. 

Other Services 

Early Move-In- Orientation for First Year students begins on Shabbat; Students who are Shomer Shabbat may request a Friday move-in. 

Mezuzzot - For a small deposit, Chabad will provide a handwritten Kosher scroll with a case and double stick tape approved by Residential Life for use in the dorm buildings. 

Kehilla - Fosters student leadership to advance these and other issues of concern or importance to the observant community. 

The Kehilla board will also participate in the efforts to recruit prospective students by reaching out to college counselors, organizing hospitality, and arranging for Day School alumni to speak with prospective students whenever possible. 

We are here for students and families 24/7. Please contact us with any questions or concerns no matter how big or small.