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Opening Brunch
Opening Brunch Local Leadership Celebrate Opening of Chabad of the Shore’s Newly Expanded Center More than 200 political and lay leaders joined together for a celebratory brunch on Sunday, July 12, as Chabad of the Shore – a Jewish educational and social service organization serving greater Monmouth County – inaugurated its newly expanded and upgraded facilities on Ocean Avenue on the Jersey Shore. The move was heralded as a significant and necessary milestone in the annals of the seven year old organization that has been experiencing steady growth. “For years now, we’ve been bursting at the seams,” said Rabbi Laibel Schapiro, Director of Chabad of the Shore, as he greeted the crowd represented by a broad cross-section of the Ashkenazi and Sephardic Jewish communities. “Whether it’s our Hebrew School, adult education classes or holiday programs, we’d gone from having crowds squeezing wall-to-wall to crowds spilling out the door… These beautiful new facilities will finally give us some desperately needed breathing room.” In addition to a total aesthetic overhaul, the recent expansion effectively doubled the size of Chabad’s premises. Asked to what he attributes the organization’s rapid growth and success, Schapiro pointed to Chabad’s open door and nonjudgmental policy. “We never turn anyone away nor do we categorize or put labels on Jews. This is a place where people of all ages and from all walks of life can feel at home – regardless of background, affiliation or level of observance. Everyone is welcome to develop their sense of Jewish pride and celebrate the joy of their heritage at their own pace. Here everybody belongs.” The rabbi went on to list the various activities wherein Chabad reaches out to segments of the community that would otherwise have little or no Jewish connection, including outreach programs at Monmouth University and Fort Monmouth, youth programs, adult education, holiday programs, Women’s Circle and the Hand-in-Hand program for children with special needs. Also mentioned were Chabad’s synagogue services that are open to all without membership. Among those in attendance were Deal Mayor, Harry Franco, and U.S. Congressman Frank Pallone. Mayor Franco addressed the crowd recalling a memorable meeting he’d had years ago with the leader of the Chabad movement, the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson. He spoke fondly of the Rebbe’s legendary and infectious love for his people and how it led to the opening of thousands of Chabad centers around the world that unconditionally reach out and help others. He also lauded the spirit of unity and solidarity with which the greater community came out in support of Chabad. Taking in the joyous spirit of the day and the newly renovated facilities, many were moved to pledge financial support to help Chabad of the Shore meet the challenges of its newfound growth. The festivities were then capped with Harvey Katz, affixing the Mezuzah on the new center’s front door. “During these past seven years, we’ve seen some wonderful things happen in this community,” said Rabbi Schapiro. “But today is not about reflecting on how far we’ve come; moreover, it’s about how far we have yet to go…”


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