In 2006, there were about 1,500 Jewish students on campus who wanted a program that they could call their own.
Rabbi Zalman Wilhelm provided that to them with his wife Chani, and it is called Chabad at UVM. The program also serves Jewish students throughout the state of Vermont who do not go to UVM.
Their programs strengthen Jewish identity, education, awareness and pride and provide the means to practice and experience our Jewish heritage,” according to their website.
Chabad and Wilhelm have an annual Shabbat celebration that they call the mega Shabbat.
At this event, the Wilhelm’s expect around 350 students to attend.
This year, the Shabbaton will be happening at 7:30 p.m. March 20 in the Davis Center’s Grand Maple Ballroom. On the Chabad website, students can RSVP, volunteer to cook, recruit or help set up for the event.
Every Friday, Chabad hands out challah bread on campus and at the Chabad House on 42 Summit St., which also serves as the Wilhelms’ home.
When you pick up your challah, you are also invited to Shabbat dinner on Friday nights at 7 p.m. following services at their home. You can fill out an RSVP form on the Chabad website and also invite a friend to go to the dinner with you.
There are usually upwards of 50 students who attend Shabbat dinners on Friday nights, the website stated.
The Chabad website, chabaduvm.org, is another resource for Jewish students.
The website provides multiple links. These include information on the mega Shabbat, Shabbat dinner on Fridays, kosher dining on-campus, Shabbat in the making, free trips to Israel, coffee with the rabbi and much more.
People can also see photos of several different recent Chabad events.
The website also provides daily quotes, notes on upcoming holidays, calendars and photos from past Chabad festivities.
Students and non-students can submit questions to the Rabbi on the Chabad website. They can also read answers to previously asked questions when they click on the link at the top, which says “Ask the Rabbi.”
Chabad hopes to provide a sense of community and learning for students at UVM and elsewhere, according to the website.