Shabbos House was founded in 1976 by Rabbi Yisroel and Rochel Rubin, who moved to Albany in 1974 as Chabad Shluchim at the directive of the Lubavitcher Rebbe. Subsequent Shabbos House Directors were Rabbi Moshe and Esther Chanowitz in the 1980’s, Yoel Seliger and Ruth Seliger 1988-1992, Pinchas and Yehudis Schreiber 1992-1996, and Rabbi Mendel and Raizy since 1997.
The original “Little House That Could” was purchased in 1976 at the corner of Fuller Road and the University. It was expanded to double its size in the 1980’s but began to exceed that capacity in the early 2000’s. A Building Campaign was launched in 2003, and after extended zoning struggles, and extensive fundraising efforts, construction began in 2008 on the new, bigger and better Shabbos House, two doors down from the original building. The new building was dedicated on September 14th, 2009 and began operations on Rosh Hashanah 5770.
The L’chaim Student Group, recognized and funded by the University at Albany Student Association was founded in 1996. The board works closely with Shabbos House, and is advised by Shabbos House Directors. It’s primary emphasis is holiday programming, special events, and Jewish campus awareness and outreach.
The Shabbos House website was first established in 1998. It had a cute, heimish look and feel, came up high in web searches, and was well used and remained quite current until 2009. This new website was built from the ground-up by Carasmatic Design in 2013 and will be updated frequently by Shabbos House staff and students.