(lubavitch.com) The Chabad Center for Jewish Student Life was inaugurated Sunday as some 500 students, professors, and supporters looked on.
The 24,000 square foot building that services the Jewish students of Binghamton University is the largest Jewish student center among all of the New York State Universities’ campuses. While the structure includes a gym, café, synagogue, and Holocaust memorial, organizers and students agree its core purpose is to be a place of welcome and respite. A home away from home.
Binghamton University President Lois B. DeFleur shared in the students’ enthusiasm at the building’s completion.
"The bricks and mortar are wonderful," DeFleur said to the overflow crowd. "But they do not capture what Chabad means to this campus and campus community, helping not only in academics ways, but in cultural and spiritual ways."
Rabbi Aaron and Rivky Slonim have been serving the campus as Chabad representatives since 1985. Their programs, and particularly their blowout Friday night dinners, are popular elements of the college experience for thousands of students who come through their doors each semester. The couple hopes that the $3.5 million building, mere steps from campus, will allow them to expand their activities.