Ties That Bind

In the most recent issue, New Voices, the national Jewish student magazine, explores the dark corners of the Chabad House.

from the editor:

“On college campuses across the country, a Shabbat dinner at the Chabad House is as much a ritual of Jewish student life as an ice cream social at the Hillel. As of this fall, emissaries of the Chabad-Lubavitch Hasidic movement have set up Chabad Houses at nearly 100 colleges and universities. In this issue, we take a long, hard look at these shluchim, and at the ultra-Orthodox movement that has become central to the Jewish lives of thousands of college students…

But Chabad is a controversial movement. The belief in the messianic status of their Rebbe, which persists in portions of the movement even today, has drawn strong condemnation from some in the Orthodox world. Liberal Jewish leaders decry Chabad’s belief that the Jewish soul is more sacred than the non-Jewish soul. There is concern over Chabad’s politics in Israel and at home.

So, who are these bearded men with their bewigged wives? In the following pages, you will find the story of a Chabad rabbi’s struggle with Hillel at Princeton, the story of a Chabad House in a Jewish settlement in the West Bank , and the story of an ex-Chabadnik who fought in Iraq before joining the anti-war movement . We have coverage of the scandal that rocked the world of Kosher meat this summer, an interview with a Reform rabbi about the place of Chabad in the religious life of secular Jews, a critique of non-Orthodox support for Chabad, and an exploration of the contemporary meaning of 770 Eastern Parkway.”

You can read New Voices here and subscribe here (free for college students).