Oct 9, 2008

Chavi's Digging on New Voices, You Should Too!

I recently discovered an AWESOME publication -- New Voices , a national Jewish student magazine -- and thanks to some emailing and the wonders of the internet in building connections, I might be hooking up with New Voices in the future to do fun things. The magazine has been publishing since 1991, and that's news to me because I never happ'd upon it during my undergraduate education, but I'm lucky to have come across it now, I think.

The new issue -- available online by clicking here -- is the Lubavitch Issue. I think it's a pretty damn good reading, especially coming from the perspective of a college student on a campus where Hillel and Chabad seem to be not at all working as a whole. Case in point: Chabad throws up posters over at the Kosher dining facility for their events, just steps away from where Hillel meets, even as rumors float around campus that Hillel is "closed" for the year.  The two don't appear to work together well, and I think the issue probably addresses this all-encompassing issue on campuses in an interesting way . I won't give any of the little morsels away, but here's what the magazine says about the issue:

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.
If you want to check-out a reliable and praiseworthy spiel on New Voices, check out Jew School's very, very recent post on the magazine!

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi Chaviva,

I'm not sure why alternative options like Chabad are bad (unless you has a biased against Chabad). Their one of the best things thta's happened to Jewish college students in a while!

(sounds like your kissing up to Josh and the crew at NV)

Happy Sukkot!

B

Leora said...

Interesting, reading about the competition between Chabad and Hillel. This is certainly true at Rutgers, where the Chabad is particularly strong.

chaviva said...

B: I never said alternatives like Chabad are bad (you're making a big inference there). I love Chabad on campus, their meals and programs are some of the most inspiring and thought-provoking. I think they provide a much-needed service that's lacking since Hillel is very much on the non-religious end of things (there really aren't services, but that's because the people who would want such services aren't going to Hillel, they're going to Chabad). Sorry you read me wrong.

Leora: It is definitely interesting. Glad you thought so as well!

David said...

Do I count as a student . . . ?

Or a new voice. . .?

Mottel said...

The dynamic in each campus is very different -in some places Chabad and Hillel work together, others not, in some one is stronger, in other the other. (Boy, that was clear)
Though as you point out, Hillel often is more of a secular (or to be PC, universal) Jewish experience, while Chabad is . . . Chabad.
Just don't hate us because we're beautiful.

chaviva said...

David: You are a little from column A, a little from column B :)

Mottel: I know the dynamics are very different. I wish our campus Chabad/Hillel were more cohesive and didn't appear like they were competing for holiday events and the like. It isn't hardcore or outright, but it is obvious. I <3 Chabad because it's beautiful :)

Anonymous said...

It seems a bit insulting to call Hillel "secular" or "non-religious," a bit like saying that reform Jews aren't actually Jewish at all. I understand that the experience and the dynamic are different at every campus, but using words such as those to refer to Hillel denigrates the Jewish experience for many students who are extremely comfortable there -- and consider themselves religious and Jewish and not secular/non-religious.

Frankly, a Chabad/Hillel union -- or even truce -- seems unlikely, especially on holidays, when Reform students want to go to services that remind them of home and are reminiscent of their traditions & teachings, & Orthodox students want to the same for themselves (& Conservative students, stuck in the middle, are forced move either up or down the line). To expect or hope that Chabad & Hillel could work together would mean that one of those groups would likely end up feeling particularly uncomfortable with the end result -- and no surprise, it'd probably end up being the Reform kids, as the general assumption tends to be that it's better to err on the side of (supposed) religiosity or traditionalism rather than make the "more observant" Jews stoop down to the "less observant" level.

better to keep the two separate & keep everyone comfortable.

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