Business Welcomes Tech Innovation Lab at Illini Chabad

The College of Business is delighted to welcome a new resource for students to the campus community. The Illini Chabad has unveiled its new CME Goldstick Tech Innovation Lab.

Established with funding provided in part by the Chicago Mercantile Exchange Foundation and the family of Phil and Beverly Goldstick, this new lab space features computers, presentation TV screens, and a printer. The intent was to create an ideal environment for ideas to percolate and take shape.

Illini Chabad Tech Lab
Rabbi Dovid Teichtel demonstrates equipment in the new CME Goldstick Tech Innovation Lab in Illini Chabad.

This lab will provide needed space for students to do their classroom work in a home-like atmosphere. In fact, creating a home-like environment is what is behind Chabad. It works closely with university units to improve the education and quality of life experiences for Jewish students. “It’s a family environment,” said Rabbi Dovid Teichtel, director of Illini Chabad. “When you think about the tech lab, you think, what’s Jewish about that? Well, we’re a community, and we’re fulfilling the needs of our community.”

The Lab was first conceptualized by College of Business alumnus Steven Mendes ’78 FIN for two purposes. First, it will provide a lab for student collaboration. Second, it will provide a space for Chabad’s Deborah and Ira Cohen Innovation and Education Program, which helps their students gain access to summer internships in their field of study. Students were also solicited for their input on the lab. Work began in May and was completed just before the start of the fall 2017 semester.

Business sophomore Joe Pinsky said, “Having this lab available at Chabad will allow for me to grow closer with other members of the Jewish community in the College of Business. We will be able to network with each other, help out with classwork, interview preparation, and hopefully finding jobs.”Illini Chabad Tech Lab - students

Business junior Ryan Kane, who is studying supply chain management and information systems/information technology, agreed: “I think all the work that Rabbi Dovid has put into creating a study area like this is amazing. I absolutely see myself utilizing all the amazing aspects of the new lab. it’s great to have a space like this where I can go and study.”

Jeffrey R. Brown, the Josef and Margot Lakonishok Professor of Business and Dean, said,  “We are very pleased to welcome this Tech Innovation Lab to the Illini Chabad. New spaces that enable our students to achieve their potential, spark innovation, and create success stories are something we want to celebrate. This lab will have positive outcomes for students in the College of Business and throughout the University of Illinois campus.”

The Illini Chabad provides a gathering space for Jewish students of the University of Illinois. There are approximately 4,000 Jewish students on the Urbana campus.