What happens when nearly 150 Jewish students from 24 different schools spend their year studying Torah at their local Chabad on Campus? The answer is nothing less than a week-long educational experience in luxurious Dubai.
What happens when nearly 150 Jewish students from 24 different schools spend their year studying Torah at their local Chabad on Campus? A graduation ceremony in a local auditorium? A night out as a reward? Or maybe a nice framed certificate?
For the team at Chabad on Campus International, the answer is nothing less than. . . a grand, week-long educational experience in luxurious Dubai.
Students were treated to an exclusive trip jam-packed with activities and thrills they couldn’t have imagined in the stately halls of their universities back at home. It was a well-deserved climax for students who had studied in JewishU, an engaging new learning program taking campuses by storm.
JewishU, Chabad on Campus International’s premier learning program, offers an accessible and engaging platform for comprehensive Jewish education alongside students’ formal college education. Throughout the school year, JewishU students participated in an array of invigorating courses exploring various topics, ranging from ancient Jewish history to perseverance and Jewish pride on campus.
“JewishU is making its mark!” said Rabbi Yossy Gordon, CEO of Chabad on Campus International. “The entire year of intense learning coupled with the feedback we’re getting from this trip makes one thing clear: students are eager and ready to study their heritage and immerse themselves in the beauty and positivity of their Judaism. What a great commentary on our youth and the dedication of the Shluchim and Shluchos!”
JewishU is more than a “here and there” course or a once-a-week class. JewishU makes learning an ongoing endeavor with multiple courses a semester and, for some locations, a class every day of the week. Year-round, universities were buzzing with intensive, authentic Torah study in local Chabad on Campus centers across the country.
“At one point, I had to travel and couldn’t teach the JewishU class that week,” said Rabbi Shmuel Tiechtel from Chabad on Campus at ASU, “The students called me at the airport and begged me to teach the class as I waited for my plane! Of course, that’s exactly what I did.”
As the first group of students to complete this intensive program, these 150 students joined together for a week they’ll never forget. The program included highlights such as visiting the tallest building in the world, the Burj Khalifa, ATVing in the alluring dunes of the Emirati desert, luxuriating in 5-star desert hospitality, and delighting in newly minted Kosher options.
Rabbi Levi Duchman, Chabad of UAE, was instrumental to the trip’s success, facilitating the superb accommodations the students experienced and exhibiting the powerful work Chabad is involved in throughout the region. The students came away with a strong impression of the far-reaching impact Shluchim have around the globe. The program ran smoothly throughout, thanks to the intensive logistical support from Bentzi Sasson of Go Kosher Travel.
Beyond the luxury and thrill, students enjoyed an immersive Jewish experience. The trip was directed by Rabbi Yossi Witkes and Rabbi Shloime Chein, and staffed by a dynamic group of Shluchim and Shluchos, including Rabbi Zalman Chein, Rabbi Levi and Sheina Cunin, Rabbi Shmuel and Chana Tiechtel, and Rabbi Dov and Runya Wagner, ensuring an enthusiastic and warm Jewish feel for everyone involved. World-class lecturer Rabbi Shais Taub and renowned educator Mrs. Rivky Kaplan joined the students as scholars-in-residence, providing inspiration and sharing powerful messages with the students throughout the week.
“Every aspect of the trip was amazing,” said Michael Bonilla of Binghamton University. “I did not expect to be able to do so much in such a short time. Every outing was incredible, and the people were even better! The learning we did on the trip was a great addition, and the scholars in residence were terrific. It was truly an experience of a lifetime!”