Chabad at Stockton University Purchases New Center

Chabad at Stockton University Purchases New Center

by Staff Writer - New Jersey

February 9, 2017

When Rabbi Meir and Shaina Rapoport and their son Mendel moved to Galloway Township, N.J., in September of 2016 to serve the Jewish student body at Stockton University, they rented a small home in the area which doubled as their Chabad center. But they knew that they’d need a bigger spaceand fast.

Stockton’s student population is approximately 9000, about ten percent of whom are Jewish. There are as well dozens of Jewish faculty members, and the robust activity at the campus Chabad center soon proved the Rapoports right. After just one year of operation, Chabad at Stockton University purchased a new center last month.

Centrally located, the new 7000 sq. foot building, which sits on nearly three acres, is a dramatic upgrade from the old place. Facilities include a dining hall, kitchen, student lounge, game room, library, chapel, and student parking. The old place, says the rabbi, “didn't have the presence that we wanted,” and was too far from the university. “We weren't really accessible, except to the students who knew where we were and were willing to trek out, but now we're on the main road and thousands of people see us every day.”

Indeed. An hour after he hung the sign up outside the new Chabad house, he received a phone call from a woman who had seen it as she was driving by, who asked if she could join a Shabbat meal. “It’s a difference of night and day. We already have higher attendance.”

The new space will allow Chabad to expand its activities, enabling it to reach more individuals and make Chabad at Stockton the go-to address for Jewish students at Stockton University.

“This is a huge step towards a more vibrant Chabad presence on campus,” Shaina Rapoport says. “We look forward to increased programming and participation with this new center, and we are excited to provide the students with a ‘home away from home.’"

For Stockton student Amy Greenberg, Chabad is “truly my home away from home. Meir and Shaina do an amazing job at making me and all the other Jewish students feel at home.”

The Rapoports were well groomed for their posts. Meir grew up the son of Chabad emissaries in Atlantic City, N.J., and Shaina in Madison, W.I. The couple runs a Kosher Cooking Club (KCC), Pizza & Parsha learning sessions, Lunch-n-Learns, Chillin-n-Grillin barbecues, and themed Shabbat meals. Their “Chicken Soup Express” program brings hot chicken soup to students who are under the weather, and the rabbi installs mezuzahs in the dorm rooms of those who want it.

A grand opening event and ribbon-cutting ceremony are scheduled to take place during the spring semester.

Chabad at Stockton University is one of the 56 Chabad centers in the state of New Jersey under the leadership of Rabbi Moshe Herson, and part of the regional Chabad centers directed by Rabbi Shmuel Rapoport.

To learn more about Chabad at Stockton, visit

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