A taste of home at Tufts Chabad
I must admit that, like most freshmen, I miss home. I’m not just referring to my family and friends, though I miss them more than I can describe. I’m talking about the little things as well: showering barefoot, reading in my favorite café, and knowing that the subway is open 24 hours. But above all, I miss my mother’s cooking. Nothing says “home” like a home-cooked meal.
I have yet to find a place on campus that better embodies the concept of “home” than Chabad, the Jewish center on Chetwynd Road. Not only does Chabad literally fit the definition of “home” in that it is the permanent residence of the family that runs the house (Chanie Backman, Rabbi Tzvi, and their seven ADORABLE children), but it also sustains the look and feel of a true home. Chanie’s warm, accepting demeanor and enthusiastic invitation for my involvement in Women’s Shabbat made me feel truly welcome. The event was a themed Shabbat dinner about female empowerment, and as an organizer I got to help prepare the meal. It was a wonderful change of pace to spend time in a place that contained a coatrack, wooden staircase, furniture that wasn’t made for college dorm rooms, and most importantly, a kitchen.
Our hard work (Chanie deserves most of the credit) certainly paid off. Dinner began with TWO types of challah—cinnamon sugar loaves and edible sesame napkin rings, fresh greens with strawberries and strawberry vinaigrette, olive spread, and some of the most delicious salmon I’ve ever had. That was just the first course. Next came squash and pea soup, orzo with veggies and cranberries, chicken (which as a pescetarian I forwent), string beans, and my personal favorite: butternut squash pie, complete with homemade crust and a cinnamon swirl on top. Just when I thought I could not fit any more food in my stomach, Chanie broke out the fresh fruit, chocolate fondue, and two types of cake.
Admittedly, Women’s Shabbat featured an unusually extravagant décor and menu, even by Chabad’s standards. However, every Shabbat dinner at the house consists of entirely homemade food, the paramount reminder of home, and is open to all students, regardless of religious beliefs. In addition, Chanie makes homemade, chicken soup (upon request) that you can bring to a sick friend! So if you’re looking for familiarity, a taste of Jewish culture, and the best food you’ve had in a long time, stop by Chabad.