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February 03, 2012

Chabad's Superbowl Tailgate

Super Bowl 2012 IndianapolisLubavitch of Indiana will host a giant kosher tailgate party, complete with chili and all the fixings, for Jewish fans.

Super Bowl 2012 Indianapolis

Indianapolis Rabbi Has Kosher Super Bowl Fans Covered
By Karen Schwartz • Chabad

After his son’s Bar Mitzvah this Saturday, Avi Esses will get ready for Super Bowl XLVI. The New York resident and ardent Giants fan is headed to Indianapolis Sunday morning with his sons, Nafti, 16, Leo, 15, and Eli, 13, for the big game. When he found out they’d be going – somewhere between winning two tickets at a Chinese auction and buying an extra set so all three boys could come – he did the next logical thing. He connected with what has become the contest’s unofficial Chabad-Lubavitch center.

Esses wants his sons to learn that no matter where they go, they should find a group of Jewish men to prayer with and some kosher food to eat.

“Just because you’re out of town doesn’t mean that you don’t have to follow through with everything,” he explains. “And I like to demonstrate that lesson: You can find a minyan if you look hard enough. You can find kosher food. And it’s not as hard as it might seem.”

For the Super Bowl crowd, Rabbi Avrohom Grossbaum of Lubavitch of Indiana and a dedicated team of volunteers will host a giant kosher tailgate party, complete with chili and all the fixings, for Jewish fans. He started getting calls from people throughout the United States and abroad several months ago, and has even enlisted the help of a local caterer so that people can pre-order kosher food for their weekend Super Bowl events.

“It’s going to be a great thing for the kids to see,” says Esses.

The Indianapolis Jewish community has been excited about the event since it found out the city would host the Super Bowl a few years back. With an expected 100,000 to 150,000 guest coming in, the showdown between the Giants and the New England Patriots will trump the Indianapolis 500 in terms of crowds.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers and agents tour the vicinity around the site of Super Bowl XLVI. (Photo: CBP/Brian Bell)

“This has gotten much more interest from people who want to come to the game,” says Grossbaum.

Jeffrey Silver, who owns a company called Silver Crystal Sports, will be heading down from Toronto to work at the event, providing customized jerseys with his lettering and numbering equipment. He was looking online to see what kinds of kosher possibilities were in the area, and soon found himself in contact with Grossbaum.

“We’ve been in touch since then,” he says, adding that he’s interested to see what kind of kosher meat the rabbi comes up with for the all-you-can-eat buffet at the tailgate party.

He forwarded the details of the party to friends, and hopes to see a few people he knows at the event. With large Jewish communities in New York and Boston, he expects to see strong interest in the tailgating event and at the Chabad House.

Says Silver: “I’m interested to see how many people are in the same kind of boat that will be down in Indianapolis for the Super Bowl.”


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when you cut and paste an article from a different source its best to remember to also cut out the captions that reference things that didn't make the 'cut'

"U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers and agents tour the vicinity around the site of Super Bowl XLVI. (Photo: CBP/Brian Bell)"

I've always wanted to ask someone. About a year ago, I was on the D train in NYC maybe the 6. And 3 Haredi boys were walking down thru the trains, proclaiming the Torah etc...just like the nuts on the trains that proclaim their beliefs (if one rides the trains you know what I mean)...do you think they were chabad? Was this a prank, or are they doing this now? I don't live in NYC anymore so not sure if this is still going on..or if this was one instance.

Lubavitch of Indiana will host a giant kosher tailgate party, complete with chili and all the fixings, for Jewish fans.

Chabad, what a "with it" chassidic group. So VASTLY different than the other boring sects. They embrace technology, and just love to bring people into yiddishkeit as compared to the other insular sects.

Their presence in and near to college campuses make it possible for jews to attend colleges all across the nation and still have their jewish roots, have a place to daven and most importantly get kosher food. This applies to the kosher business community as well. Jews can go to almost anywhere on the globe and find a chabad house at their disposal.

May god bless them!

Once in a while, a positive story about Chabad appears on this blog.

Rabbi Grossbaum, of Indianapolis, is an example of old school Chabad at its pinnacle (concerning the shluchim, not the leadership).

He is serious, warm, and welcoming. He has no hidden agenda. He helps Jews to do mitzvot but doesn't seek to make them chassidim or "frummies".

He is one of the finest Rabbis I have ever met. It is an honor to know him.

Can't accept eidus from chabad , so food not kosher.

If Rabbi Grossbaum was presented as an eid I would accept his testimony as completely kosher. He is a genuine erliche Yid, in the sense that people should be. My hashkafa is very different from his, but he has my unqualified respect. He has demonstrated integrity and genuine ahavat Yisrael over many years.

Yaakov, my Chabad rabbi here in NJ is also a mensch, as you described Rabbi Grossbaum. This is a nice story. Chabad still has some terrific shluchim who do a lot of things like this.

This is what I think of when I think of Chabad. It's why I check for Chabad houses when I travel. This is Chabad at its best and most relevant. If only other Chasidim could do the same rather than declare all non-Chasidim spit-worthy.

Yaakov, my Chabad rabbi here in NJ is also a mensch, as you described Rabbi Grossbaum. This is a nice story. Chabad still has some terrific shluchim who do a lot of things like this.

Same here in the 5 towns as well as the one in Buffalo where my child attends dental school.

Is it no longer fashionable to officially pretend that you have no knowledge of or interest in the goyishe culture?

Chabad is great as long as you don't get brainwashed into worshipping a goddamn idol.

++ Korbendallas72 | February 03, 2012 at 10:24 AM++

That is an excellent summary.

@confused - at most college campuses where chabad exists, there is already a place to daven - the hillel house - at campuses with smaller Jewish communities there is typically one minyan, at ones with larger communities there are often two or more. At the larger communities there is often kosher food available quite apart from chabad. In some places chabad cooperates with the hillel, in some places AFAIK it competes with it.

Eli, there are 364 other days in the year for yeshivas to schnorr money.

Or they can move the event up to end in time for the game.

The world does not revolve around frumma. Sorry to break that news to you.

Mr. Kraft, owner of the Patriots, donates plenty to Jewish charities. If you have a problem with the game, tell the frumma in Boston not to take Mr. Kraft's money.

Geoman, yes, there's a Hillel house. Doesn't usually have a rabbi, almost always has mixed seating. Not attractive to the more orthodox. And in the mid-sized communities, especially one I'm thinking of, the Chabad is directly across the street from main campus building while the Orthodox shul is a few miles beyond walking distance.

Are you trying to complain about Chabad or trying to talk up Hillel, a student-run Conservative Jewish organization?

And my own experience with Hillel some years back was that you get Friday night services only. Period. Except at major holidays. That and college food-service produced Shabbat dinners of sometimes dubious kashruth.

I'm not frum, but Conservative college organizations do not fit all Jewish students' needs. BH for the Chabad houses, I wish there had been one where I was.

Malka - The conservative college student org is called Koach. Hillel is NOT conservative, it is pluralist. Its true that at smaller campuses with only one minyan, the minyan is usually mixed (though often not fully conservative on other issues, or even fully egalitarian). At larger hillels with two minyanim, typically one will be orthodox, and the other egalitarian - at very large hillels, there will be O, C AND R, or even more.

What I am trying to do is respond to the claim that Chabad provides a place to daven that otherwise would not exist. In almost all campuses where chabad exists, there IS another place to daven ON campus. In many (but of course not all) of those, there is an ORTHODOX minyan on campus. Chabad does some good things, thats true - but thats not a reason to attribute more to it than is true. And yes, on some campuses Chabad DOES compete with hillel, and that may be something worth criticizing (or not, depending on your POV)

Mainly I want to provide information. For example clarifying that Hillel is NOT a Conservative organization.

Google on "hillel orthodox minyan" and you will see there are many orthodox minyanim at hillel houses

also on many campuses hillel has at least one rabbi.

We found the Hillel at University at Buffalo to be almost useless. I remember going with my daughter to the north campus for a Chanukah program that was called for 6pm. We arrived at 6:25 and couldn't for the life of us find where the program was being held their office was closed and no one was able to help us so we left. When we called the next day we were told well the latkas were gone by 6:15 so everyone left.

Chabad has frequent and lively programs most well attended (probably for the free food). My daughter stays over many shabbosim and is quite taken by the kindness of the reitzen and her kids.

Geoman -- so what if it competes? Multiple Christian denomination groups compete with each other all over the place on college campuses. I have yet to hear of Chabad or Hillel putting the other out of business everywhere.

Besides as the old joke goes, don't you always have to have two shuls? The one you go to and the one you wouldn't be caught dead at?

There is something very wrong with Chabad, as a religious denomination, supporting frivolous events such as these so-called tailgate parties, which primarily consist of drunken revelers engaging in ביטול תורה and ביטול זמן.

I could understand if a Chabad rabbi delivered a benediction or invocation at a football match. But the hosting of an event antithetical to the spirit of observant Judaism in general, and Hasidism in particular, is shocking.

If Rabbi Hodakov were still בעלמא דין he would surely be calling these Indiana Chabad yahoos on the carpet.

But the sad reality has been that without Hodakov, Lubavitch tends all too often to go off the deep end.


You speak from ignorance. Your silly supposition about the nature of Rabbi Grossbaum's event, and the quality of Chabad in Indiana are off base.

Why do you invent things for the purpose of slander? I already mentioned here, as a direct witness, that Rabbi Grossbaum is a solid and meritorious example of a Jew.

You should be more circumspect in guessing at things to the detriment of others in the face of contemporaneous eyewitness accounts.

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