Bringing the BU community together

By Justin Andrews
By Matt Hicks

Bringing the BU community together

March 15, 2013 Updated Mar 15, 2013 at 10:59 PM EST

Vestal, NY (WBNG Binghamton) For some it's a way to celebrate the Jewish Sabbath. For others it's a way to learn more about the Jewish faith.

Nearly 2,000 people gathered Friday evening for one of the largest Shabbat dinners in the nation, and it was held on the Binghamton University campus.

The Chabad Center for Jewish Student Life has held the event for the past 17 years, and has seen it grow to record proportions and spread to other campuses.

Organizers said its success is rooted in bringing the BU community together.

"This is an incredible event because it reaches out to three totally different groups of people. There's the regular Jewish community on campus, there's those Jews that have never been to a Friday night dinner in their life, and there's those students who want to know what our religion is about and love coming to a home made Friday night meal," said Chabad President Samantha Greenstein.

That homemade meal included 750 pounds of chicken, 300 pounds of cold cuts, 350 pounds of Challa bread, and 180 bottles of grape juice.

"We're just so happy that everyone can come here and celebrate with us. We have a lot of tables, we have a lot of people, and we're just happy everyone is here," said organizer Tamar Gaffin-Cahn.

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