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Former Israeli Chief Rabbi Inaugurates Oxford Study Hall

Friday, 26 February, 2010 - 9:06 pm

meir.jpgFormer Israeli Chief Rabbi Israel Meir Lau and local dignitaries were on hand Monday for the dedication of the Tajtelbaum Study Hall at the David Slager Chabad-Lubavitch Jewish Center serving Oxford University.

More than 100 students joined faculty and community members at the dedication inside the wood-trimmed hall featuring a hand-carved ark for a Torah scroll, oak study tables and an expansive Judaica library.

In his address, Lau spoke identified assimilation in the United Kingdom and United States as the greatest threat facing the Jewish people. Study halls such as that at the Oxford Chabad House, he said, helped to mitigate that threat by strengthening Jewish education.

Oxford Chabad Society director Rabbi Eli Brackman pointed out that the study hall is believed to be the first of its kind in the historic college town since medieval times.

Mendel Tajtelbaum, who dedicated the hall in memory of his father, told attendees that his father witnessed the destruction of synagogues at the hands of the Nazis during World War II and dedicated his life to rebuilding houses of Jewish learning and prayer.

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