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Aggie Voices

Parents of the Year

Photo by Levik-125.jpgFour years ago, our oldest son left New Jersey for Texas A&M.  He didn't know too many people here, but he knew Jason Wise from years of regional USY; and he knew that Jason was involved with the Chabad On campus - a Chabad HOUSE led by a down-to-earth Rabbi, his dynamic wife and their six adorable children.  He immediately learned that this Chabad House is actually a Home for the hundreds of ״surrogate״ children who stream in and out of Yossi and Manya's House at literally all hours of the day and night - to cook, to eat, to study, to schmooze, to cry, to laugh and to love.

Anyone who spends even a few minutes in this House that the Lazaroffs Built is immediately drawn in by their warmth and caring, and their seemingly limitless capacity to be there for every member of the Aggieland Jewish community.  Somehow - their days have more than 24 hours. Somehow, there is always a plate of home-cooked food, an open heart, someone to listen/advise or pick you up, someone to teach without preaching....someone who lives an authentic Jewish life and wraps you into that life as seamlessly as if you were born into the family as another treasured Lazaroff child. 

We don't know how they do it; the sheer number of hours on their feet, and ALWAYS with kindness, humor and compassion, is simply daunting.  They ask nothing of us in return...but we owe them everything.  

The Parents of the Year are not Allison and David Nagelberg; they are Yossi and Manya.  Tonight is a tribute to them and to their phenomenal accomplishments over the last seven years. Yossi and Manya: we thank you, we love you, and we wish you continued strength and success as you build community here at A&M for years to come. 

 

Honoring My Parents

Photo by Levik-119.jpgWhat events and people in our lives make us the people that we are today? I think everyone would say that our parents play a huge role in shaping us as human beings. From even before we are born they care for us, and even after we leave their immediate care, they still care for us and about us. In fact, there is nothing that can truly stand between caring parents and their children. No amount of time, space, money, or anything else can come between the love and care that parents have for their children.

Today, I have the extreme honor and privilege of being able to say that this goes both ways.

When I left my parents’ house four years ago and drove with them to Texas, I was happy to get away. I figured that 1,600 miles was far enough away to get my folks off of my back. But it wasn’t. They would come down for football games, for Thanksgiving, for Passover, for NASCAR races, for Parents’ Weekend – whenever they could, they would find a way to get here. And over those four years, I grew closer to my parents despite the physical distance. Despite the miles that separated us, we grew stronger as a parent-child unit, and the things that are important to each of us grew more important to the other. And that is where the Chabad Jewish Center at Texas A&M enters the picture. I lived next door to Chabad for two years, but from the very moment I arrived on campus til today it has been my real home in Texas. My family instilled a Jewish education and a love for Judaism in me that my life would not be complete without, and having a Chabad house to help continue to nurture that has been invaluable, and my parents quickly realized that. Throughout my four years here they have come to view Chabad as a place where all Jewish students are welcome and loved for, and in their appreciation of this, my parents have donated of their time and money, time and again, to help grow this Chabad house. It is because of their continued and growing support and love for the Lazaroff family and all of the work that they do that I now have the utmost privilege of introducing my parents, Allison and David Nagelberg, as the Parents of the Year of the Texas A&M Chabad.

The Subar Report

Jackie Subar is currently in Israel for the summer! Here is what this Aggie has to say:

Howdy/Shalom!!!

Two Aggies at the Kotel On Yom Yerushalayim! Aside from the slight jet lag these past three days have been great. It’s so great to be back home in the eretz! Though I have come to Israel to pursue research with NGO Monitor (located near Ben Yehuda for those of you who know what I am talking about; yeah yeah you know the place!) I am in the Mayanot Institute for Jewish Studies in Katamon (a part of Jerusalem) for a couple of weeks. Katamon, for my Plano people out there, is home to an area that is sort of like the Jerusalem stone version of Shops at Legacy; aka beautiful, mamash (really)! Anyways, Mayanot is what they call a yeshiva (a place for Jewish studies) for women. Essentially some of the smartest, coolest people gather together to take classes and learn about what it means to be Jewish. In today’s day and age we have won the right to have a high education in secular academics, why not understand ourselves as Jewish women on the same level?! The girls here come from a large number of backgrounds. There is no dress code, everyone is on their  own level, and it is a ZERO pressure environment (like totally bro, what good is pressure, go push yourself not others!)~kinda feels like a Montessori yeshiva if those existed. So by hashgacha pratis (divine intervention---I mean who really believes in luck?) I ended up in Jerusalem just in time for Yom Yerushalayim (attached is a picture of me…I know you weren’t here so I had to make other friends). Honestly one of the coolest days ever. It is a celebration based on the reclaiming of Jerusalem by our awesome-kick-butt Israeli soldiers in the 1960’s. So much dancing, laughing, shouting, and crazy that it made Northgate look like the kiddie sandbox. I still don’t have a phone, something about unlocking it and getting a plan and it just is not coming together, but I did get an AMAZING Turkish bureka (still doesn’t change the fact that I don’t have a phone yet)---sidenote: there is a kosher McDonalds on Ben Yehuda though who wants to go there for icky chicken when you can go elsewhere is beyond me! Got to love all of the kosher food in Israel (though believe it or not kosher is harder in Israel than in America---yeah you want to know why? I am totally not launching into shemita an hour before Shabbos; go ask your LOR (Local Orthodox Rabbi/Rebbetzin). Okay need to go catch a bus to Ramat Shlomo “a large Jewish housing development in northern East Jerusalem…18,000-20,000 people and was captured in the Six Day War” (high-five Wikipedia!)---essentially a zillion Chabad Houses in one area (note: if you get the joke great!---like DON’T knocking on random Lubavitchers doors. You could get green dip and a joke but I don’t think they really know what that is in Ramat Shlomo; they’re more into the srug (a spicy spicy dip) and most recently Siracha (Rabbi Yossi your famous!)---but they do tell jokes and farbreng (literally a “gathering”---a bunch of people coming together to hang out, talk, and have DMCs (deep meaningful conversations)…or not; just don’t forget to bring a bottle of mashke (lit.vodka---see your LOR if you want deeper Chassidic insight). So now I’m sitting here in the beit midrash (essentially a house of study; where the books/some classes are) typing and eating a bag of klik (great chocolate thingys…like if American cereal were coated in chocolate…oh yeah it is). Shabbat around here starts around six I just found out, not eight like in Texas! So I’m only three days in, so many adventures to pursue, hiking to do, people to meet, and fun to be had. There is no place like Israel! Giving a shout out to all the Aggies back home and abroad! Wishing you a restful and enjoyable Shabbat! 

Shabbat Shalom Yall!

Subar

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