Who Are We?
Chabad Chevra was founded on 3 guiding principles:
• Ahavat Yisrael – Jewish Family: Unconditional Love
• Chabad House – Open Door Home Environment
• Shluchim - A Family Centered “Home Away from Home”
Chabad Chevra seeks to be a “home away from home” and strives to foster a familial environment, emphasizing tradition and Jewish unity. We are dedicated to providing an open-door environment for strengthening and enhancing Jewish values to all people. Our goal is to create a home where every student, regardless of background, philosophy, affiliation, or level of commitment feels welcome and accepted. Programming always reflects tolerant, non-judgmental and open discussions, which is a hallmark of Chabad Chevra’s inclusiveness. Our job is to love, not judge; to teach, not dictate; to welcome, and not exclude. A unique quality of Chabad Chevra is the leadership provided by a dynamic couple, Rabbi Yossi and Dalia Kulek, who create an atmosphere where students can feel safe and seek guidance on a variety of social, education and spiritual issues. Chabad Chevra promotes Jewish pride and inspires Jewish students to find themselves as Jews and progress continuously on a spiritual path, passing on Jewish traditions to family and friends. Founded on strong personal relationships, Chabad Chevra educates and empowers students to experience and live the joy of Judaism. We focus on the individual as well as the collective and we promote active involvement in all things Jewish, as we encourage young Jews to discover their common familial bond of heritage and faith, and enhance their Jewish identity. Chabad Chevra is also dedicated to educating non-Jewish members of our community about the moral values of Judaism, believing that the ethical principles of the Torah belong in a vibrant multicultural community. Our core belief is that there can be an ethical world full of kindness and where all people live in peace. Chabad Chevra was founded to serve the religious, educational and social needs of the University of Hartford community. Located at 100 Bloomfield Ave, the center is on the same block as the university.
Meet The Family
אַשְׁרֵינוּ מַה טּוֹב חֶלְקֵנוּ וּמַה נָּעִים גּוֹרָלֵנוּ וּמַה יָּפָה יְרוּשָּׁתֵנוּ!
Fortunate are we! How good is our portion, how pleasant our lot, and how beautiful our heritage!
We are truly thankful to G-d for all the blessings he has bestowed on us. Since February 1, 2000 we have had the honor and privilege of serving as shluchim, emissaries of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, in Greater Hartford.
Shortly after our arrival, we began working to bring Jewish enrichment to students at University of Hartford. As our activities flourished and expanded, we formed an official university recognized student group, Chabad Chevra in 2003. By 2007 we realized that Chabad Chevra required our full time commitment. The George & Pamela Rohr Family Foundation helped make this a reality, with a seed grant to establish a full time presence. This eventually led to the necessity of establishing a permanent and central location near the University of Hartford, from which to service the needs of the Jewish students. Past university president, Walter Harrison helped us identify a location and, with the help of leading families in the community, the Chase and Lazowski families and a significant grant from the Rohr Foundation, a building was purchased in August 2009 at an ideal location, at 100 Bloomfield Avenue.
From humble beginnings we have grown and impacted the lives of many. Along our remarkable journey we built a beautiful Jewish family of friends, students, parents and alumni.
Actually, the secret to our success has been our humble background. With our mixed Jewish Ashkenazic, Sephardic, African American and Mexican lineage we understand diversity. We empathize and love each and every individual regardless of where they are from or who they are or what they believe and practice. We believe, with all our hearts and soul, in the beauty of people and that we are all one big family.
We would not be here today without the influence and guidance of the Lubavitcher Rebbe.
Our journey is not over. Our mission is not complete. We are committed to continue doing what we love. As long as there remain students at University of Hartford who strengthening our family, the Jewish people.
Rabbi Yossi, Dalia and kids
Chabad Chevra is...
A family-centered home where everyone is welcomed and treated as family.
A home where all are welcome regardless of background, affiliation, & level of observance.
A home where Jewish students socialize in a comfortable setting with great friends, delicious food and boundless discussion.
A religious center that provides Jewish traditions in a fun and educational style.
A synagogue for prayer and study, where one can gain a deeper understanding of one’s Jewish heritage.
An academy providing texts and teachers for those who seek to learn.
A religious institution where you can question your faith and not be afraid of judgment.
A resource for Jewish lifecycle events.
A Jewish student organization at University of Hartford that provides educational, social, and recreational programming for students and faculty.
A partnership between students, staff and local community organizations to help create student programming, plan social action projects, promote health awareness activities and offer volunteer opportunities.
An organization that partners with Mayanot Birthright to provide free ten-day experiences in Israel.
A haven to run to when you're stressed or lonely, and need a friend to lean on.
Chabad-Lubavitch is a philosophy, a movement, and an organization.
It is considered to be the most dynamic force in Jewish life today.
Chabad-Lubavitch is a philosophy, a movement, and an organization. It is considered to be the most dynamic force in Jewish life today. Founded in 1772 by Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi, "Chabad" -a Hebrew acronym for "Wisdom, Understanding and Knowledge" -is a philosophy of study, meditation, and social outreach that bridges rigorous academics with proactive community involvement. Lubavitch is the town in White Russia where the movement was based for more than a century. The Russian word "Lubavitch" means "brotherly love;" emblematic of the love and dedication that characterizes Chabad-Lubavitch and its emissaries worldwide.
Chabad-Lubavitch promotes the mystical, traditional, legal and social principles of the Torah while using the most modern methods and advanced technologies.
Chabad-Lubavitch has consistently been the innovator and at the forefront of Jewish education, social services and community activism. The work of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, who assumed leadership of Chabad-Lubavitch in 1950, is legendary.
Today over 4,500 full-time emissary families apply 250-year-old principles and philosophy to direct more than 3,500 institutions (and a workforce that numbers in the tens of thousands) dedicated to the welfare of the Jewish people worldwide.
Chabad on Campus
Chabad seeks to be a "home away from home" for Jews on campus and offers a wealth of social, educational and spiritual programs at campuses across America and around the globe. At college, students are exposed to new ideas and experiences and Chabad seeks to ensure that students graduate as stronger and more empowered Jews than when they entered.
In the early 1950s, the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, of blessed memory, began sending rabbinical students to campuses to serve as a resource for students. Since the 1960s, Chabad campus centers open their doors to every Jewish student regardless of background or observance level. Programming always reflects tolerant, non-judgmental and open discussions, which is the hallmark of Chabad's inclusiveness. A unique quality of Chabad's campus centers is the leadership provided by a dynamic couple who create an atmosphere where students can feel safe and seek guidance on variety of social, education and spiritual issues.
More recently, with the assistance of visionary philanthropists George and Pamela Rohr of New York, Chabad on Campus International has set an ambitious course of expansion. Today, full-service Chabad Jewish student centers are found on over 256 campuses worldwide, and Chabad-Lubavitch serves hundreds of other campuses with Jewish resources.
The Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, of righteous memory (1902-1994), the seventh leader in the Chabad-Lubavitch dynasty, is considered to have been the most phenomenal Jewish personality of modern times. To hundreds of thousands of followers and millions of sympathizers and admirers around the world, he was — and still is, despite his passing — "the Rebbe," undoubtedly, the one individual more than any other singularly responsible for stirring the conscience and spiritual awakening of world Jewry.
The Rebbe is known for his brilliant mind and photographic memory. Many testimonies attribute the personal impact the Rebbe had on them and how through his prayers and blessings they experienced miracles in their times of need. The Rebbe’s published teachings fill more than 300 volumes, and he is noted for his contributions to Jewish continuity and religious thought, as well as his wide-ranging contributions to traditional Torah scholarship.
Inspired by seven generations of illustrious leaders beginning with Rabbi Schneur Zalman, Chabad-Lubavitch has consistently been at the forefront of Jewish education and community activism. The work of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, who assumed leadership of Chabad-Lubavitch in 1950, is legendary. Motivated by a profound love for humanity and spurred by boundless optimism and dedication, the Rebbe lifted the global Jewish community from the ashes of the Holocaust, launching an unprecedented range of Jewish institutions, outreach programs and social services.
In the News
"It is no trivial feat for an organization to expand its reach by 500 percent over the span of 15 years. But that’s what Chabad on Campus International has accomplished since 2000, increasing its presence from fewer than 30 U.S. college campuses to 198 today."
Why We Matter
"In all my years growing up I haven't seen Jewish life from as passionate Jews than the Jewish students on this campus. Rabbi has showed me what it means to be Jewish and the importance of Judaism. I would not have been able to improve my Judaism and enrich this culture that the Kuleks instill in this community in my life, if it wasn't for Rabbi and Dalia. They have had such an impact on me and all of the active Jews on this campus. It is so inspiring when I look at what Rabbi Kulek and his family has done to enrich the lives of Jews with his passion for Judaism. It has truly made an impact on my life."
- Brenton Adelson ‘14
University of Hartford President, 1998-2017
Myth or Fact
Chabad is a type of religion.
Chabad is a worldwide movement that spreads Jewish awareness to all Jews. The word Chabad is an acronym for Chachmah, Binah, Daas, which means wisdom, understanding, & knowledge. Simply put, Chabad's message is "don't just think it, do it". This is what Chabad does. Chabad Houses can be found in every part of the world. There are over 2600 Chabad centers in 46 states & 60 countries.
You have to be "Orthodox" to participate in programs offered by Chabad.
Our programs are open to all. In fact, the vast majority of people who participate in our programs are not "Orthodox" and in no way is the commitment to an Orthodox lifestyle a prerequisite to one's acceptance at Chabad functions.
Chabad's goal is to make me Orthodox.
We are not out to make anyone Orthodox. Chabad invites you to explore your tradition & practice in an open-minded & non-judgmental atmosphere. Each individual is invited to participate, study, & learn and to make his or her own respective religious, lifestyle decisions at his or her own pace.
We prefer not to label other Jews, since it tends to divide & create artificial barriers between us. In fact, the leader of Chabad worldwide, the Lubavitcher Rebbe delivered a stinging rebuke to Orthodox elements in the USA & Israel for publicly belittling non-Orthodox Jews.
Chabad does not consider Reform, Conservative, or non-practicing Jews as "real" Jews.
Chabad, and the Lubavitcher Rebbe in particular, strongly support Israel & is deeply involved in defending its value & right to exist.
Many "Chabadniks" serve in the Israeli Defense Forces & others contribute practical & spiritual support to the troops. Lubavitch trained Rabbis, including Rabbi Yossi Kulek, often complete their training in Israeli Yeshivas.
Chabad has a network of over 220 centers throughout the length & breadth of Israel.