A partnership between Chabad and Ithaca College, to address the needs of Jewish students

A partnership between Chabad and Ithaca College, to address the needs of Jewish students

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Chabad of Ithaca College started this petition to Ithaca College Office of Religious and Spiritual Life

Ithaca College is among the only institutes of higher education with a substantial Jewish population that does not have a formal affiliation with Chabad, or employ or partner with any Jewish clergy capable of addressing the religious needs of Jewish students across all denominations. We believe this to be a glaring omission, and propose that Ithaca College rectify this as soon as possible by pursuing a formal partnership with Chabad's local representatives, Rabbi Josh and Rebbetzin Andi Krisch, through the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life.

Chabad Lubavitch is one of the largest, most influential Jewish organizations in the world. There are more than 4,500 Chabad Centers internationally—representing all 50 states, 90 countries, and more than 400 college campuses. Chabad is an apolitical, non-denominational religious organization that creates a warm, inclusive home-away-from home for Jewish college students and those interested in Judaism. One of the unique advantages of Chabad is that any student, regardless of religious affiliation, can feel comfortable. A recent independent study of the 200 US-based Chabad Houses on campus found that 89 percent of Jewish students who attend Chabad were raised non-Orthodox, and that nearly half were raised in one of the most liberal branches of Judaism (Reform, Reconstructionist, Post-Denominational, or without affiliation). 

At the same time, Chabad provides a crucial service to the most religious students on campus, known as “Orthodox”, who make up 10 percent of the American Jewish population. An Orthodox student cannot feel comfortable on a college campus that does not have Chabad, or otherwise dedicated Orthodox clergy. Hillel at IC is a crucial organization, but runs programs that are not possible or comfortable for traditional Jewish students to attend and lacks the clergy to address the needs of more religious students. Chabad fills this gap, by working alongside Hillel to provide kosher food, traditional prayer services, and Sabbath observant programs, while also addressing the needs of less traditional students with Chabad's signature open, welcoming environment for all. 

The undersigned believe that Ithaca College's Jewish population would benefit from a formal partnership between Chabad and the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life. Our goal is to reach 100 signatures from current and former Ithaca College students.

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