This is bigger than just one house. This is about students losing their Jewish home away from home.
The UD Chabad Student Board set up this page to start raising money, initiating the love, support and rebuilding even before the Chabad Directors fully processed the loss and figured out the next step forward.
This student-led initiative ultimately turned into our official campaign for rebuilding.
We, all of us, Rabbi Avremel, Shulie, the Student Board and the Jewish community at UD, feel your embrace and support from around the world. We are so grateful to you and your gift that will rebuild at UD.
Thanks to your love, and with the encouragement of our colleagues, layleaders, students and alumni, we are increasing this campaign to $1,000,000 to completely cover the FIRST PHASE of this new home for our students.
We can’t replace what was. Someone maliciously burned down this sacred space, “the little blue house,” that grew so many magnificent memories for hundreds of students over the last 20+ years!
The little blue house means so much to the students who found inspiration, community, connection, and even love there. Yes, many marriages started out by meeting each other at the little blue house.
It wasn’t fancy, it was well worn, lived in, and much loved. It was theirs, and the students thronged there every Friday night. And now, the little blue house is in ashes. The objects and walls that could tell so many tales about Jewish connection and community are no more. Someone destroyed more than the little blue house. They destroyed the walls that held 20+ years of memories, life, and laughter.
The little blue house is gone. As we mourn the memories, we must rebuild to create new ones. Like the fabled phoenix, We must rise up from the ashes, stronger, younger, and bigger to live again.
For over 20 years, one hundred students would cram in the little blue house. Together we can give them a place to host double that size. Double the memories, double the space, double the laughter.
This is what happens when the entire community comes together with a powerful surge of love, support, and togetherness.
In the shadow of the fire, and amongst the ashes, a light of unity will shine brighter and much longer than the fire of destruction.
Let’s Help Chabad UD Rise Up!
We wanted to preserve the original plea from this student-led initiative. Here it is below --
On Tuesday, August 25, 2020, at around 11 pm a fire was started with intention, at the University of Delaware Chabad. The fire was set at the back of the house, but the damages spread throughout the entire property. Although they tried to salvage what survived, there is not much left. In its entirety, the fire took about three hours to extinguish and while initial estimates put the damages at $75,000 further inspection gave an estimate of $150,00 - $200,000 in damages. No one was present in the home when the fire occurred.
Chabad at UD is a home away from home for many Jewish students at the University of Delaware. Each week they open their doors, for Shabbat dinners and other programs such as holidays, celebrations, and learning opportunities. All of this wouldn't be possible without Rabbi Avremel and Shulie Vogel. Their constant generosity keeps students coming back each week. Rabbi, Shulie, and their three children have created a family at UD and have devoted their lives to bettering the Jewish community on campus.
This campaign is being run by the students of Chabad, it is the least we can do to kickstart the larger campaign that will be rolled out shortly. Please consider donating whatever you can to help contribute to fixing the damages caused by the fire. All funds will be given to the Vogel Family to rebuild The Chabad House. The little blue house, which we students called home, will be missed, but it is time to give back and rebuild what we have lost.
From all of us - Grace Hollander, Haley Levine, Jessica Ehrlich, Sarah Chalmin, Nikki Matza, Louie Gelb, Alex Beigelman, and alumnae Gabby Taubenfeld, and Ariana Marks - we thank you for your donations to a cause so close to our hearts!