Satisfying Sushi and Soul

By Blair Donner

A unique tradition takes place at Chabad every Wednesday night called “Sushi and Soul.” The agenda of the event is almost exactly what the title describes. Students are welcome to come make sushi and then enjoy eating while listening to teachings from the Torah and Talmud. As Rabbi Shaya leads students through key teachings, discussions are open. In this way, students can ask questions, debate, and ultimately grow in their knowledge of Judaism. This hour long session is important as it is a mid-week reminder of Jewish lessons amongst the overwhelming demands of classes and extracurricular activities. What more, it is enjoyed over sushi, soy sauce, and an assortment of refreshing drinks! Of course the entire event is free.

The evening begins with making the Sushi. The Chabad House at Rutgers’ kitchen provides all of the appropriate materials. Rice and seaweed as well as rolling mats are displayed on a table and students can chat while customizing their sushi rolls. From avocados to carrots to certain fish, each sushi roll is filled with something unique. Once the rolls are completed and cut into smaller pieces, they are assorted onto a tray to be enjoyed.

After the food is prepared, the discussions begin at 8:00 p.m. in Chabad’s newly renovated library. Being surrounded by books on the ancient teachings of Judaism is a perfect setting for Sushi and Soul. In the actual lessons what students learn is specific and advanced. For instance, last session a discussion about free will in Judaism was explored as well as the symbolisms of celestial patterns according to the Talmud. Students engaged in a deep and thought provoking discussion, allowing for new insights to be explored and discussed.

Having events like this are important. As Jewish students at Rutgers University, we have the privilege to attend classes that elaborate on the intricacies of everything from science to the humanities. However, in the pursuit of these studies it is all too easy to forget the importance of studying Torah. By having Sushi and Soul, the Chabad House at Rutgers effectively makes it both convenient and fun for students to uphold the precious mitzvah of studying Jewish law. What more, beyond Sushi and Soul, other free classes are offered by experienced Chabad teachers for students of all levels willing to study Torah. In that way, if a student’s Wednesday schedule is packed there are plenty of opportunities to stay tuned with Jewish teachings.

However, in the way I see it, Sushi and Soul is a lot of fun. It’s no mystery why its attendees make a commitment to come and learn each Wednesday. For Rutgers affiliates who want to learn more about opportunities like this offered at Chabad House, the Jewish community here welcomes you. If you would like to learn more about the classes offered and get involved, please feel free to contact us for more information.

For more information about Chabad House at Rutgers, visit us on the web at,, or call 732-296-1800


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