When Chabad on Campus representatives convened for their annual conference in June, they had some impressive numbers powering their conviction that Chabad’s programming resonates with Jewish students.
This past year, on an average Friday night, a combined total of 7,000 students took their seats at Chabad on Campus for Shabbat dinner. Some 3,479 students attended one or more of 408 Jewish study classes offered each week at Chabad’s Jewish Student Centers. The number of students inspired by the courses enough to commit to a full semester of intense Torah study at the Sinai Scholars program has soared since its inception in 2007, and 900 students on 55 campuses graduated from the program this June.
All told, when the $5 million of Chabad on Campus International Foundation is tallied with the projected budgets of the independent Chabad centers, the movement to keep Jewish youth Jewishly engaged as they enter adulthood costs $30 million per year.
Chabad on Campus is at the tipping point, according to conference co-chair Rabbi Dovid Tiechtel. “For many of us, it’s not about explaining to students, ‘What is Chabad?’ But, rather, ‘Where do we grow from here?'”