Who We Are:
Between the overload of school work and the never ending hustle of the city, Chabad is a home away from home for students at Columbia University; a cozy place to unwind in an oasis of Jewish tradition, friends and homemade food.
Inspired by the teachings of the Lubavitcher Rebbe and founded on the basis of Chassidut philosophy, Chabad’s goal is to create a Jewish community in which inidividuals feels comfortable to explore and deepen their Jewish identity. Whether it be at a Shabbat meal, Torah study session or social gathering, no matter the background or familiarity to Judaism, every student is welcomed and loved.
Meet the Team
Hello and Welcome!
We are Rabbi Yuda and Naomi Drizin, the Chabad shluchim (emissaries) and directors of Chabad at Columbia University since 2019. Coming to a new place may feel overwhelming and we hope we can help smoothen that transition for you by inviting you to join us at Chabad. Conveniently located near campus in a newly renovated brownstone, Chabad is a home away from home for Jewish students of all backgrounds regardless of their affiliations or familiarity to Judaism. Our work at Chabad is a labor of love and we hope you feel that when you walk through the doors.
Rabbi Yuda grew up in the Crown Heights neighborhood of Brooklyn. He studied in yeshiva abroad in Paris, Israel and Argentina before returning to New York to receive his rabbinical ordination from the central Chabad Yeshiva. Rabbi Yuda has experience in Jewish communal leadership having practiced as a summer Rabbi in Windhoek, Namibia and leading services for the high holidays in Kobe, Japan. His genuine interest in others, along with his sincerity and wisdom, make it natural for him to connect with people of all ages, stages and backgrounds. He has a passion for sharing Jewish knowledge and inspiration and loves to schmooze over coffee.
Naomi was raised in Brighton Beach, Brooklyn where she grew up helping her parents with their work in Chabad of the local Jewish community. From a young age, Naomi taught Bat Mitzvah lessons, directed Hebrew school and helped plan holiday celebrations. After completing her schooling, she taught for three years at Beth Rivkah girls high school. She recently graduated with a Master of Social Work from Wurzweiler School of Social Work. She ensures that everyone who walks through the door feels comfortable and welcome with her enthusiasm and warm smile.
The best way for students to stay updated and to rsvp for events is to sign up to our texting system called the "ChaBot" :) To get started, text "shalom" to 917-809-5339 here and answer the prompts. You'll get a "congrats" when you're all set.
The best way for parents to get updates is by signing up to our email list here.
Please don't hesitate to reach out!
Chabad Student Board 2023-2024
Rabbi and Rebbetzin Emeritus
Rabbi Yonah and Rebbetzin Keren Blum were directors of Chabad at Columbia University for 23 years. Together with their children, Shoshana, Esther, Chana, Zaly and Gavi, they led Chabad at Columbia with dedication and love. Through the years, they inspired and connected with thousands of students and faculty members who passed through their doors. Chabad at Columbia Univeristy will continue the vision of the Blums, to be an open and welcoming home for all.
What is Chabad?Chabad is a worldwide movement that spreads Jewish awareness to all Jews. The word “Chabad” is a Hebrew acronym for the three intellectual faculties of chochmah—wisdom, binah—comprehension and da’at—knowledge. The movement’s system of Jewish religious philosophy (Chassidut), the deepest dimension of G‑d’s Torah, teaches understanding and recognition of the Creator, the role and purpose of creation, and the importance and unique mission of each creature. This philosophy guides a person to refine and govern his or her every act and feeling through wisdom, comprehension and knowledge. Chabad Houses can be found on over 200 campuses and in every part of the world. In each one of those communities, Chabad is doing everything it can to add warmth and meaning to Jewish life there based on the teachings of Torah and Chassidut. Today over 4,500 full-time emissary families direct more than 3,500 institutions around the globe.
What does Chabad do on campus?Chabad helps provide Jewish students with their social, cultural and spiritual needs. Rabbi Yuda and Naomi Drizin have extensive knowledge in many areas of Judaism and are ready to listen to your concerns and answer your questions. Most importantly, consider Chabad your home away from home.
Do only Orthodox Jews come to Chabad?Chabad is a place for all Jews regardless of their affiliations. What makes Chabad unique is that all walks of Jewish life come together as one.
What happens if I don’t know what to do?Don’t worry, there will always be someone to guide you. The important thing is to not be afraid to ask!
All this is great, but how do I join?"We’re open to every Jewish student! Sign up to stay in the loop regarding all the happenings at Chabad. (Sign Up Here)
But wait! How much does it cost?Nothing! Just bring yourself and lots of friends!