Jewish Aggie of the Week Presents Kenny Abitbol

Wednesday, 5 October, 2016 - 3:24 pm

 Jewish Aggie of the Week Presents

What is your name?
Kenny Abitbol

Where are you from?
Houston, TX. G-d bless TEXAS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Where did you go to high school?
Robert M. Beren Academy

Why did you choose Texas A&M?
I chose Texas A&M for its fantastic engineering school and the Corps of Cadets (WHOOP!) 

What was your major and why did you decide to pursue such a degree?
I study Nuclear Engineering with minors in Theatre Arts and Math. I wanted to study something difficult and yet practical…. And being a Nuke sounded pretty cool.

What is your favorite book? Why?
Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged. Yeah, it’s a long read but totally worth it. The philosophical struggle is enlightening, and in my case continues to push me to limits I never thought I’d reach. 

What do you look forward to when coming to Chabad?
I know I can always count on a relaxing scene at Chabad. Whether it’s a stylin’ event or Shabbat services, the Rabbi and Rebbetzin always welcome members of the community with open arms.

What do you love about Jewish life on campus?
As I’ve been here for six years, I find the community thriving and beautiful. I also love the fact that I know I have two Jewish centers to fall back on in Chabad and Hillel. When I joined the Corps of Cadets, they never had experienced the complications of an orthodox Jew. By staying disciplined and explaining religious restrictions to my superiors, I hoped to create a precedent in which any future observant Jew could join the Corps. This is what I love about this university. There are so many areas on campus that need a Jewish presence and with the Aggie spirit I know we can be seen!

Why do you think it is important to be involved in Jewish life?
Knowing your heritage and religious beliefs empowers you beyond your imagination. Us Jews are a tight-knit group and we are always willing to help another. Get involved and grow tremendously! That’s what I say.

 Do you plan on going to graduate school at A&M?
Nah. I’d recommend it though if you were interested! 

Do you have any siblings?
I have a younger brother, Jonny, and a younger sister, Rachelle.

What is your favorite Jewish food?
Moroccan Fish and Challah.

What is your favorite food?
Homemade Mac’ n Cheese.

Have you ever traveled outside of the United States?
I’ve been to Mexico, Belize, Honduras, and Israel. Traveling to other countries and seeing their society, architecture, and culture truly opens one’s eyes to the awesome world Hashem in which placed us.

Have you ever been to Israel? If so, what was the most moving/amazing/inspirational experience you had? 
I went once with my senior trip in high school. Obviously it was mesmerizing, and I would have to say seeing the Kotel for the first time was one of the most inspirational experiences I’ve ever had.

 If you could go anywhere in the world where would you go?
I would go to Northern Europe. The history and nature (fjords I’m looking at you) are fascinating.

What is your favorite vacation spot?
Roatan, Honduras. The water and people are amazing. 

How do you enjoy spending your free time?
Reading, working out, intramurals, and Smicha (rabbinical ordination).

If you could start university again what would you do differently?
Nothing. No Regrets. 

Do you have any animals? What is their best trick?
I have two cats – Lola Mew and Luna Blue. The best trick is to raise them with love and care!

Did you prefer living on campus or off campus? What would you recommend to freshmen?
While nothing can replicate my time in the Corps dorms, off-campus life is pretty sweet. I would definitely recommend freshmen to live on-campus and indoctrinate themselves in the university’s traditions.

If you could have one wish for anything in the world what would it be?
Peace, health, and wealth for everyone.

 Do you have a message for future A&M students?
Stay true to what you believe in. You will be tested mentally and physically, but you will always have Chabad to back you up.

How did you get involved with Chabad?
When deciding which college to go to, a major factor was the Jewish life on campus. I wanted to be able to continue keeping Kosher and staying Shomer Shabbat – Chabad was there for me. Yossi and Manya showed me how beautiful it is here and what a Kiddush Hashem it would be to come to A&M.

 Do you have plans for after graduation?
Once I graduate I will receive an officer’s commission in the United States Navy. While in the Navy I will be stationed as a Nuclear Power Instructor in Charleston, SC, and I hope to pursue an MBA during my tenure there and potentially law school thereafter. Religiously, I hope to complete my Smicha within my first two years in Charleston.

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