“Every sect, every Jew is welcome here:” Official opening of Fleishman House celebrated by students, families


On Sunday morning, family and friends from Duke’s Jewish community gathered from across the country to celebrate the groundbreaking ceremony for Fleishman House.

Fleishman House, formerly King’s Daughters Inn, is located just off the east campus and will serve as the new home for Chabad for students at Duke University. With three floors, a kitchen, 17 bedrooms, and a 2,100-square-foot rooftop terrace, Duke’s Jewish students will have a formal common space to celebrate Shabbat and the major holidays.

Chabad is an Orthodox movement within the Jewish tradition. Fleishman House is now one of more than 3,500 Chabad centers around the world.

The ceremony began with the student members of Chabad welcoming all participants, which included students from Duke, families and donors to Chabad. Also in attendance was Joel Fleishman, professor of law and founding director of the Sanford School of Public Policy, whose center was named.

Chabad Student President Olivia Levine, a senior, spoke about the growth of Chabad of a group of 20 students preparing dinners at the home of Rabbi Nossen Fellig, co-director of the Chabad Jewish Student Center in Duke, at acquiring a full-fledged space for an organization that now invites over 250 students for weekly Shabbat dinners.

Members, friends and families of the Duke Jewish community gathered to witness the grand opening of Fleishman House.

“Everyone is welcome here,” Levine said. “It doesn’t matter if you are reformist, if you are conservative, if you are orthodox; every sect, every Jew is welcome here.

Levine awarded the acquisition of Fleishman House to Fellig and Chaya Fellig, co-directors of Chabad Jewish Undergraduates. The first time Levine met them both in first grade, they both made her feel at home in Duke.

“[The Felligs] I knew all about my area and my home… I had so much fun on Shabbat that I came back. And, what do you know, Rabbi and Chaya remembered my name. It was a really great feeling to know that there were more people than classic Jewry that you’re playing a duke, ”Levine said.

In 2020, the Felligs spearheaded the purchase of the four-star boutique hotel with the help of law professor Sarah Bloom Raskin, as well as various benefactors and alumni.

The Felligs thanked everyone who made the purchase of House Fleishman possible.

“It’s the ultimate home for undergraduates. They deserve a royal house like this, ”said Nossen Fellig.

Event reception.

Event reception.

The Felligs also gave special thanks to Fleishman. When Fleishman was a professor at Duke in the 1990s, he began hosting Jewish students at his home for holiday celebrations and prayer sessions because Duke had no space to do so.

“Thank you for your pure, humble and joyful heart, for your leadership, for planting the seed. For being a pioneer of Duke’s Jewish community for over half a century, ”said Nossen Fellig.

Fleishman said he was “overwhelmed by the lavish commentary”. He thanked the Felligs, Duke alumni and attending parents and longtime friends who came to support him at the event.

“I can’t imagine that ever happening,” Fleishman said, speaking of the Fleishman House opening ceremony and the building that bears his name. “But it is. I am deeply moved and always will be.

Katie tan

Katie Tan is a sophomore at Trinity and editor of The Chronicle’s 117th volume.


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