Jewish students at GW are rallying around Chabad couple, Rabbi Yehuda and Rivky Steiner as a court rules whether they will be able to continue Chabad-sponsored activites on campus, as reported by gwhatchet. The couple have been known to host scores of students for Shabbat meals and activities since moving to the campus in the Foggy Bottom neighborhood of Washington D.C.
However, Rabbi Levi ShemTov, who is the leading Chabad rabbi in Washington D.C., want to see the Steiners go because they allegedly violated their contracts and are behaving like independent agents. He claims they are not providing him with updates of campus activities, not disclosing donations or commit enough time to working with the D.C. offices. Steiner was effectively fired by ShemTov and were supposed to vacate the building on the GW campus where they have been living and organizing activities since 2008.
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Rabbi Steiner said to his shabbos guests, “Find the difficult parts of your life and don’t run away. Challenge the challenges. When you do, amazing things happen.”
Alumni and students are passing along a petition in support of the Steiners and have collected 1, 500 signatures so far. A Washington D.C. superior court is expected to rule on the case in a matter of days, and has previous extended the Steiners a temporary stay. Rivky Steiner said, “We feel like the students need it. They can get lost in this big school. They can find a community and find their home, and we’re their home.” Students recounted how much the Steiners have helped and supported them, but Rabbi Shemtov responded, “I understand that there will be a number of students who are quite upset. But, like many others, once they learn the facts of the case, I believe that they will appreciate more of our position in this picture.”