BINGHAMTON, NY — Students at Binghamton University worry that they missed a holiday or something, because the campus Chabad just keeps giving them things.
Melissa Baker, a sophomore, struggled to open her dorm room door as she juggled a Chabad on Campus branded tote bag, a pair of neon sunglasses, and a Shabbat times refrigerator magnet. “When I saw [Rabbi Roni Bloom, campus Chabad rabbi] and his youngest six sons sitting at a folding table on the quad,” said Baker, “my first thought was that maybe Hanukkah came really early this year. But then I was like, wait, it’s the middle of April.”
Senior finance major Jack Levitt felt similarly. “I already told him I’m not going to start keeping Shabbat. Why won’t he leave me alone? I don’t need another phone wallet.”
“Even I can’t imagine why they’re giving out mousepads,” said Jacob Hyman, a junior and president of the Chabad student board. “I told Rabbi Bloom no one needed those at our meeting last week, but he just gave me a fresh challah that Golde had just baked and another Chabad kippah and sent me on my way.”
Board treasurer Ilana Lifschitz also expressed concerns. “We don’t have the money for this,” she said. “Every few months we launch another GoFundMe with like 17 stretch goals.”
When asked for a comment, Rabbi Bloom gave no substantive response, except for the repeated use of the words “sick swag.”
No one is really sure what has sparked this recent uptick in the distribution of Chabad branded merchandise across campus. The strategy may have merit, however, as unprecedented numbers of non-Jewish students have begun attending Chabad’s Friday night meals in order to pregame their weekend parties, citing that “that free Manischewitz shit slaps.”