Rabbi Eli's Blog

Current issues, sermons and university news

Jewish festival nears the end


Eli - Oxford Mail Picture.jpgAS CHRISTIANS across Oxfordshire count down the days to Christmas, a special event in the Jewish calendar is coming to a close.

Tomorrow night, the final candle on a 12ft menorah in Oxford’s Broad Street will be lit to mark the Jewish festival of Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights.

Rabbi Eli Brackman, who is director of the Oxford Chabad Society, said it was an important festival for Jews in the city.

The eight-day holiday commemorates the rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem in the second century, and is marked by lighting a candle on the menorah each night of the holiday.

The first was lit on Sunday by Sheriff of Oxford Elise Benjamin.

She said: “I have been to the ceremony every year and it is always quite … Read More »

Defying the trend: Jewish romance amongst the dreaming spires of Oxford

Rose.jpgWith the recent growth of Jewish life in Oxford, one thing has not gone unnoticed: an explosion of Jewish marriages over the last couple of years amongst the Jewish students.

This academic year alone Oxford will be celebrating five student marriages - two in a single week during the current winter vacation, with both couples in their early twenties. Furthermore, two couples got married last year, plus a young professional couple. This makes eight Jewish weddings from Oxford within 18 months.

In a student community of around 700, this must represent, proportionally, one of the highest densities of marriages within a single Jewish community in such a short space of time.

The Oxford Chabad Society is proud to have played a role in this exci… Read More »

Chabad on Campus Rabbis Meet in Leeds for Annual Conference

group photo.jpgThe two-day-long conference saw ten rabbis and their families defy extreme weather conditions to converge on Leeds Student Chabad House from as far afield as Edinburgh and Brighton.

The meeting provided an opportunity to discuss current issues facing Jewish students cross the UK, share ideas for successful programming and speak about experiences and challenges from the past year.

"The aim of the conference," explains Rabbi Eli Brackman, chairman of Chabad on Campus UK and director of Chabad of Oxford, "was to discus different ways of reaching an ever growing number of Jewish students who are not being reached by Jewish organisations on campus."

With concurrent programmes for men, women and children, the conf… Read More »

Oxford Chabad Society makes history with lighting of giant Menorah by first Jewish Sheriff of Oxford in over a thousand years

P1020687.JPGOxford Chabad Society makes history with lighting of giant Menorah by first Jewish Sheriff of Oxford in over a thousand years
Over 200 people attended Oxford Chabad Society’s giant Menorah lighting on Broad St, in the heart of Oxford City Centre, outside one of Oxford’s oldest colleges, Balliol College.
This year’s lighting was a historic event, as the guest of honour was likely the first ever Jewish Sheriff of Oxford in over a thousand years, Cllr Elise Benjamin, who helped light the 12 foot Menorah and addressed the crowd.
Cllr Benjamin expressed her pride in being the first Jewish Sheriff of Oxford in a city that only allowed Jews to study at its institutions about 150 years ago.
Read More »
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