Eran Socher, New College

Former President, Oxford Chabad Society


A friend of mine in Hungary, living away from home, once told me that she likes to go to Chabad because it makes her grandmother happy, and indeed I must admit that ever since I became friends with Rabbi Eli and have been going to Chabad events my grandmother has become much happier. However, despite my grandmother’s great matriarchal authority, my involvement with the Chabad House activities and with the new Chabad Society has been a great pleasure as well.

As an old veteran of Oxford, now finishing my fourth year here, I have come to know the Oxford Chabad only this year. I remember being a bit surprised, when I first came to the Chabad House, by the number of people that seemed to be living there. About ten different people were relaxing in the living room or in the kitchen, all being comfortably engaged in one thing or another. It was a few minutes later that I understood that they did not all live there, but were just feeling at home. Soon enough I forgot about the reason I initially came and was busy talking to the very relaxed people there.

Ever since that first visit I have had several great experiences with the Chabad house that included meeting interesting people from different places and backgrounds, attending a lecture on Jewish mysticism, music and the connection between them (I wasn’t aware there was one), enjoying a lovely Shabbat dinner with kneidlach that surpass my grandmother’s (I really hope she is not going to read this), and learning why you should never propose to marry someone as a joke if there are two or more witnesses around (I wasn’t really proposing to anyone, it was a theoretical discussion…).

This year also witnessed the emergence of the Oxford Chabad Society. Having been involved in establishing the society, I am sure that this would be a great opportunity for students in Oxford to enjoy the activities of the Chabad House and the great and warm atmosphere that Rabbi Eli and Freidy have managed to create.