The next time Gary Rosenblatt decides to write a scathing article on Jewish efforts with youth, he should please do his research first (“Back Off On The Bacchanalia,” editor’s column, April 1).
I find it disturbing that he criticized the efforts of Chabad Houses on campuses across the country as being nothing more than an outlet for binge drinking. Clearly he has never been to a Shabbat meal or a Torah class at Chabad on campus where the main features are friends, family and learning about Judaism. In fact here at the Chabad at the University of Michigan, alcohol is never a feature. Rabbi Alter Goldstein feels so strongly about having a “dry” Chabad House that grape juice is used instead of wine for Kiddush.
Four years ago I walked into the Chabad House at U of M because I wanted to continue to learn about and experience Judaism. What keeps drawing me and many other students to Chabad is the no-strings-attached approach to Jewish learning and growth. I have never once felt pressured into doing anything I didn’t feel comfortable with, nor have I ever been bribed by the promise of alcohol.
I encourage Rosenblatt to come visit me and my friends at Chabad at U of M and see what really goes on at a Shabbat dinner, classes and lectures, or the next time he is in Israel, ask kids on a Birthright trip why they decided to go.
University of Michigan Ross School of Business
Class of 2011