The Yavneh Campus Shabbat Project
Dear Friends, Family, and Supporters,
In September of 2018 my Co-Director, Neima Pollak, and I set out on the incredible journey of implementing an inspired program aimed at enlivening the Shabbat experience on campuses with smaller observant Jewish communities. The Yavneh Campus Shabbat Project, as it was aptly dubbed, sought to bring together passionate observant Jewish leaders from throughout the country to spend Shabbat with other similarly excitable students whose campus Shabbat atmosphere could use a little bolstering. The project would effectively serve to connect like-minded Jews from all backgrounds, creating lasting bonds amongst both those visiting and those being visited.
Thank G-d the Yavneh Campus Shabbat Project has been met with tremendous success and has spread far greater than we could have ever imagined. Over the course of a little over a year that the initiative has been around; we have visited over 12 universities, bringing together Jewish adults from over 30+ campuses, engaged 300+ students, and have returned to 50% of the schools we have visited due to high demand. Many of the schools that we have thus far not returned to have been ardently anticipating our return. We have facilitated programming and kindled lasting friendships. Some highlights include: hosting the first ever student-run Seudat Shlishit at Tulane University, helping to make minyan at Northeastern, and dancing the night away at a lively Melavah Malka at UW Madison. One of the students we engaged at Georgia Tech has even gone on to take a leadership board position within the greater Yavneh Organization and helped start the blossoming College Beit Midrash of Atlanta (https://www.facebook.com/cbmatl/). Fortuitously, this student is not an isolated example. Many of the students we have been fortunate enough to encounter and work with on our partner campuses have been tremendously inspired to further facilitate Jewish programming; even on weekends when the Shabbat Project was not visiting! In aggregate, the Yavneh Campus Shabbat Project participants have been responsible for organizing over 50+ Jewish initiatives on campus following a Shabbat Project Shabbaton.
- Boston University
- Dartmouth University
- Drexel University
- Georgia Institute of Technology
- Johns Hopkins University
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology
- Muhlenberg College
- Northeastern University
- Tulane University
- University Massachusetts Amherst
- University of Florida
- University of Illinois Urbana Champagne
- University of Wisconsin Madison
- And we are hoping to expand even further:
- Duke University
- George Washington University
- Muhlenberg College
- UC Santa Barbara
- University of Texas at Austin
This is where we turn to you to ask for your help. In order to continue growing the Yavneh Campus Shabbat Project and increasing the Jewish activity on campus, we need more funding. With that additional funding we plan to return to many of our current partner campuses where our student partners and friends are eagerly awaiting our return, as well as continue to expand our efforts and initiatives to another 5 campuses this year!
Accordingly, we ask you to please to support the Yavneh Campus Shabbat Project by generously donating to our campaign. With your kind contribution we look forward to being able to continue our work on spreading the light of Shabbat.
Thank you for your support,
Neima Pollak and Yakir Zwebner
Campus Shabbat Project Co-Founders
Jordan “Yakir” Zwebner:
University of Chicago Class of 2021