We're Rising Up From the Ashes
This is bigger than just losing the “Little Blue House” on South College Ave. This is about students losing their home-away-from-home on campus.. Sadly, a hate filled individual aimed to raze us to the ground. Our response? We’re going to rise to even greater heights — and we need YOUR help to get there!
On Tuesday, August 25th at about 11:00 pm, the Chabad House caught fire.
After battling the flames for 45 minutes, the fire department finally managed to get it under control. The following day, the Fire Marshal's Office made their investigation and found that this fire was not a fluke, it was set intentionally. Imagine the horror — not only was our center destroyed, our community was targeted as well. This act of senseless hate has left the “Little Blue House” a shell of its former self. What was once a bastion of unbridled vibrance and joy is now a pile of rubble and ash. Our students are now “home”-less.
President Joe Biden
"This news is deeply disturbing — as an alum of @UDelaware and as an American. We need a full and swift investigation into what happened Tuesday night. With anti-Semitism on the rise across the country, we all have a moral obligation to speak out and give hate no safe harbor."
Governor John Carney
"It’s upsetting to learn this fire at the Chabad Center for Jewish Life was intentionally set. This is a place of worship and community, and this kind of violence is unacceptable. Thinking of and praying with Delaware’s Jewish community."
Senator Chris Coons
"I am deeply saddened by the news that the Chabad Center at the University of Delaware was intentionally set on fire this week. As the police investigate this despicable crime further, my thoughts, prayers, and support are with our state’s Jewish community. I stand with you."
A Home Away From Home
The appeal to students is simple; school is stressful, life is chaotic...gimme some normalcy. Chabad is a place where students feel accepted and welcomed 100% of the time -- 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. With our “leave your labels at the door” policy, it gives students the opportunity to unwind in a safe and comfortable environment whenever they need. Just like home.
Chabad has been serving the UD community for over 30 years and has been based out of the “Little Blue House” on South College Ave since the early 2000’s. At the start of the 2016/17 academic year, Rabbi Avremel & Shulie moved to town together with 1-yr old Zalman and got right to work.
In year one, an average of 30-40 students were joining them for Friday night dinners in their home every week. Year two saw that average double to 75. The following year grew to 120 and the next topped out with 150 students cramming into all corners of their home (and front porch) for Shulie’s exceptional food and the trademark ‘Chabad vibes’.
While we scrambled to get our wits about us, our Student Board put together a GoFundMe and Social Media campaign to start the rebuilding process. Love & support began to pour in from our community and across the world. With University & local leaders placing themselves staunchly in our corner, students have realized the true power of our UD Community.
STARTED BY A HANDFUL OF STUDENTS
“The only sensible reason for destruction is to build something better in its place.”
It is with this in mind that we have embarked on an ambitious journey, not just to rebuild, but to rebuild a bigger and more purpose filled space for our students. And to do so as quickly as possible.
Say ‘goodbye’ to the awkwardly apportioned 1500 sq. ft. of space and say ‘hello’ to an expertly crafted 12,000 sq. ft. of usable space!