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.

The WashU Jewish community is one of the only campus communities in the country where students of diverse religious backgrounds work together in a cohesive manner to build community, without being divided along religious denominational lines. There is no "Orthodox-only bubble" here, and if a prospective student seeks that out then they would do best at a campus that offers that form of community.

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. Please contact us with any questions or concerns no matter how big or small. 

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. 

Please note: All three weekly Shabbat meals are hosted by Chabad and essentially unavailable through WashU's meal plan. Therefore, parents are recommended to purchase the smallest available meal plan to prevent excess meal points going to waste at the end of the semester. 

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

Shabbat at Chabad WashU

Over 150 students attend the family-style Shabbat dinner held at Chabad every Friday evening. 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. This is the largest gathering of Jewish students at WashU each week.

Shabbat dinners are sponsored by families, alumni, and community members who help provide these festive meals to students at no charge. Guests, including prospective students, parents, and alumni, are requested to RSVP on our site and contribute >$18 per meal at www.chabadwashu.org/donate

After dinner some students head back to the dorms. Others participate in various Onegs, Farbrengens, Torah learning, and social activities — including board games, coffee, and tea — at the Chabad House and at nearby student apartments.

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

Shabbat Spot and Seudah Shlishit - The Chabad House is open all Shabbos 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 Maariv and Havdalah. 

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

Please note: The Eruv does not include Kemper Art Museum, the Loop Lofts, the Moonrise Hotel, Cheshire Inn, or any of Forest Park. 

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-led Shacharit, Mincha, and Maariv Minyanim on weekdays. The minyan meets during the academic semester. Please email Rabbi Hershey to be put on the Minyan text list and confirm the times of minyan. 

We host Shabbat services every Friday evening and Shabbat day. Friday evening Kabbalat Shabbat tends to include a lot of singing. We call it “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 university 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.  

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 open to students. 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

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

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.