(lubavitch.com/LNS) Neither icy roads nor blinding sleet deterred 90 students from stepping out in formal wear to fete Chabad at Brandeis University during the first annual Gala Student Dinner on February 10.
The dinner, planned and executed by the students, raised over $30,000 towards Chabad’s programs on campus led by Rabbi Peretz and Chanie Chein.
Seated in gold bamboo chairs, alongside tables decked out in maroon linens, the students led a program that struck many emotional chords.
“You have selflessly given your friendship, support, advice and teachings to all of us,” said Danielle Benzaken, a senior.
“You have not only opened up your home, but you have opened up your hearts. Tonight is a testament to all the hard work you have done over the years. It is our turn to recognize you,” she said.
Student enthusiasm and devotion that made the dinner possible disproved a mantra the Cheins had heard before starting their Chabad center six years ago.
“We heard, ‘Students take and don’t give back.’ They were wrong, and tonight you proved that in no uncertain terms,” Rabbi Chein told the students.
The Cheins do their fair share of giving. Shabbat meals at the Chabad student center attract 150 students each week. Classes and holiday programming, like their Purim bash for sororities and fraternities, reach hundreds more.
Nannette Herlands found the evening enchanting. “As we looked around us at the variety of faces, each of which represented a Jewish soul that [the Cheins] have enriched, we were so moved.”