To the Editor:
As a member of the Hillel board and a regular participant in Friday night dinners at the Slifka Center, I took offense at Josh Schwartz’s comment in “Chabad dinners draw diverse crowds” (1/30) characterizing Slifka as “focused more towards the Orthodox community.” Nothing could be further from the truth, and Schwartz’s remark makes me wonder if he has ever set foot in the Slifka Center on a Friday night. The absence of the opinion of anyone representing the Slifka Center was glaring. Not only does the Center offer Reform, Conservative and Orthodox services, but Jews of all denominations, unaffiliated Jews and non-Jews attend dinners there. When I first visited Yale as a prospective student, my tour guide told our group that although he was not Jewish, he always ate dinner at Slifka on Friday nights because its chicken is the best on campus (which, I can vouch, it is). My experiences at Slifka have echoed his: The Center always provides a warm and welcoming environment and dinners are a relaxing opportunity for me to catch up with friends and celebrate the Shabbat. While I am thrilled that Chabad is growing and bringing the spirit and joy of Shabbat to increasingly larger groups of students, Slifka still serves as the main center for Jewish life on campus, and its doors are always open to people of all religious affiliations.
Sarah Raymond ’08
Jan. 30, 2006
The writer is vice president of social issues on the Hillel Board.