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 one feels comfortable to explore and deepen his/her 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
Rabbi Yuda Drizin 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 Jews of all ages, stages and backgrounds. He has a passion for sharing Jewish knowledge and inspiration and loves to schmooze over coffee.
Naomi Drizin 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 friends the Aleph Bet, invited neighbors to join the Passover Seders and enjoyed preparing for Chanukah and Purim festivals. After completing her schooling, she taught for three years at Beth Rivkah girls high school before beginning a masters program at Wurzweiler School of Social Work. She ensures that everyone who walks through the door feels comfortable and welcome with her enthusiasm and warm smile.
Although he’s only three, Yosef plays a major role at Chabad :) He helps cook, set the table and gives ideas of what to make for dessert! His highlight of the week is having “sooo many people” join the Shabbat meals and singing with students around the table.
Mendel adds much joy at Chabad with his sparkly eyes and smile that lights up the room.
The Drizin family moved to Morningside Heights in 2019. They look forward to devoting their lives to working with the Jewish students and faculty members of Columbia undergrad and graduate programs.
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.
Frequently Asked Questions About Chabad
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.
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?
But wait! How much does it cost?
Nothing! Just bring yourself and lots of friends!