Bridging Wisdom and Faith

The Impact of Chizuk Chaburahs at Lander College for Men

November 27, 2023
Group of male students learning in a classroom
A Chizuk Chaburah at Lander College for Men

In the busy halls of Lander College for Men, even amidst the academic fervor, a unique tapestry of spiritual enrichment is woven through the Chizuk Chaburahs. Each Chaburah is an opportunity for every student in Lander to embrace the religious side of his chosen course of study, along with the rest of his peers through speakers, events and activities. With over seven different options, these specialized groups embody Touro's commitment to foster an environment where students can excel both religiously and academically.

Chaburahs: Beyond the Ordinary College Club

Chaburahs, derived from the Hebrew word for "group" or "team," are more than just a typical college club. They represent a dedicated effort to integrate religious and academic dimensions seamlessly. Aharon Price, a student leader heading the Chaburah for pre-health majors, encapsulates the essence of this initiative, saying, "Chaburahs are the bridge between kodesh and chol, between the holy and the mundane. At Lander, we recognize that our education is not only about academic growth and career training, but also for spiritual nurturing."

This bridge serves a twofold purpose. Firstly, it provides a space for students to explore how to properly execute their professional goals in accordance with Jewish law. Secondly, it fosters a community within each major that new students can turn to for guidance during the difficult transition that college with a dual curriculum can entail.

Events that Inspire: The Dynamic Community of Chizuk Chaburahs

The Chaburahs at Lander are not mere discussion groups; they are dynamic communities that organize events aligning with the dual missions of the Chaburahs. Sam Davis, leading the Chaburah for political science majors that recently hosted an event headlined by a Lander alum currently in law school, shares, "As future lawyers and politicians, we strive to create a better future through the courtroom and through Congress. Our Chaburah is a microcosm of that philosophy, where we ensure that while we know we are heading to professions that may challenge our integrity, we will try to bring a kiddush Hashem to our workplaces.”

Yedidya Diena, leading the Chaburah for business majors, elaborates on the recent "Finance and Faith Symposium" he planned. "We brought in an accomplished Lander alumni who shared insights on ethical financial practices from a Torah perspective. It's not just about numbers and making money; it's about understanding the proper way to make that money according to the Torah."

This symposium reflected Touro's dedication to preparing students for success in the world as a ben Torah. "In Touro, we don't just study,” said Diena. “We live our education. The Chaburahs epitomize this—where the intellectual and the spiritual converge, mirroring Touro's commitment to excellence on both fronts."

Passing the Torch: Leaders Reflect on the Chaburah Experience

For those in charge of the Chaburahs, the role is both a responsibility and a passion. Today’s leaders say they gained an appreciation of the value of the Chaburahs by participating in them as freshmen and sophomores. All relay that appreciation into action by paying it forward to the next class of Lander talmidim. Price relayed, “There are obviously a lot of tough science classes I need to take for medical school, and the advice given to me in my freshmen year on how to balance the workload and still be able to attend night seder was invaluable. I love having the opportunity to take up that mantle to help those a couple of years behind me—the next group of pre-med students.”

In the Lander College for Men landscape, Chaburahs emerge as bridges, connecting the sacred with the scholarly. Guided by passionate student leaders, these groups contribute not only to academic excellence but also to the holistic development of responsible leaders that lies at the heart of Touro's mission. Touro students are not just acquiring knowledge; they are crafting a harmonious balance between the pursuit of wisdom and the embrace of faith, enriching their journey through college and beyond.