Chabad on Campus UK Hosts AEPi Europe Conclave at the Oxford Chabad Society

Thursday, 12 November, 2015 - 3:39 am

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This past weekend, Chabad on Campus UK hosted one of the largest student Shabbaton weekends of the year, in conjunction with Jewish fraternity Alpha Epsilon Pi’s third annual AEPi Europe Conclave.


The weekend was attended by 200 students and hosted at the Chabad of Oxford Slager Jewish Student Centre. 


According to Andy Borans, Executive Director of AEPi international, "Chabad on Campus and AEPi are natural partners and it was great to see the camaraderie between the Brothers and Rabbis.”


Celebrating 103 years since its founding, AEPi has 11,000 student members across the world. Until recently it was mainly in North America but over the last few years AEPi has expanded to 10 campuses in the UK, in addition to chapters in Europe and Israel. 


The weekend included an energetic Friday night Shabbat dinner for 200 students - one of the largest hosted at Oxford, talks on how to support Israel in an often-hostile political environment on campus, breakout sessions, Shabbat lunch with presentations from students across Europe and Israel, a musical Havdalah, followed by post Shabbat buffet dinner and party, and a career panel. 


The keynote speaker at the Friday night Shabbat dinner was Rabbi Eli Brackman, Director of Chabad of Oxford and chairman of Chabad on campus UK, who drew a lesson from the splitting of the sea at the Exodus urging students not to sit back and equivocate in the face of challenges on campus but rather take a stand and proudly stand up for Jewish values for the sake of Jewish continuity, responsibility and the safety and security of Israel for generations to come.


Joining Rabbi Brackman were Chabad on Campus Rabbis Mendy Lent from Nottingham, Yossi Cheruff of Birmingham and Eli Simon of Manchester.


The success of the weekend builds on the successful relationship between Chabad on Campus and AEPi, whereby most Chabad on Campus rabbis are actively involved with their local AEPi chapters, including many who are honorary brothers. The success of the relationship is in part due to a convergence of values between Chabad on Campus and AEPi that includes in its constitution the values of Judaism, Jewish communal responsibility and love of Israel.


Sami Steinbock of AEPi London and a key organiser of the weekend said, "Chabad on Campus UK put on an excellent weekend for us, better than anything we could have imagined".


Rabbi Eli Brackman said, "The weekend was a great success and we look forward to seeing this excellent partnership between Chabad on Campus UK and AEPi continue to grow".


The weekend comes on the back of a successful visit to the Oxford Chabad Society last week by Emeritus Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz, who is also an AEPi brother. In his lecture Dershowitz expressed his belief that Chabad on Campus is a vital ingredient for the growth of Jewish life on university campuses.

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