On Sunday, Aug. 17, Chabad Jewish Center of Lake Tahoe will celebrate its first year anniversary, servicing the Jewish community and Jewish tourists who come year-round to enjoy a kosher Lake Tahoe setting.
In summer 2013 Rabbi Mordey and Shaina Richler together with their daughter Rochel moved from Brooklyn, N.Y. to Lake Tahoe to establish the Chabad center.
When Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson assumed leadership of the Chabad-Lubavitch movement in 1951, world Jewry was just beginning to resettle after the Holocaust.
The Rebbe encouraged his students to find communities in need of Jewish leadership and take personal responsibility for their physical and spiritual well being. The Rebbe’s students were to offer a forum in which Jews could experience the beauty of Judaism regardless of their affiliations or levels of observance. One by one, young couples and families responded to the Rebbe’s call. Some arrived to bring new vitality to existing centers of Judaism. Others went to new and uncharted lands. The Richler’s are part of more than 4,500 families among the Rebbe’s emissaries. They administer over 3,300 institutions that have been established in over 73 countries around the world. These centers are places where Judaism is celebrated joyfully and meaningfully.
In just one year, Chabad Jewish Center has grown tremendously with programs servicing all Jews from all walks of life, including:
Adult Education: This curriculum benefits Jews of all backgrounds who seek a deeper understanding and appreciation of Jewish thought, heritage and tradition. These classes have proven to be a unique and exciting concept in Adult Jewish learning that enabled students to achieve basic Jewish thought in just one year. According to Michelle Miller of Tahoma, “The classes, even though they are based on 3,000-year-old events, have relevance to our everyday living. Rabbi Mordey has a gift of being able to explain points and answer questions clearly.”
Jewish Learning Institute: Starting in October the Chabad Jewish Center will offer courses from the JLI, a leading provider of adult education, with over 350 locations worldwide. The courses cover diverse topics and are composed through comprehensive academic research. Many of the courses are eligible for CLE and CME credits, and most of them offer CEU credits.
Jewish Women’s Circle: The Jewish Women’s Circle brings together Jewish women of all ages and backgrounds to learn, laugh, experience and rejuvenate the mind, body and soul. This year the JWC hosted six events, bringing together over 30 women from the community. “It has been a great source of community support and faith,” said Toni of Lake Tahoe. “It’s been so wonderful to join together with a group of like-minded women to celebrate the Jewish traditions while enjoying good friendship and delicious traditional food. How lucky we are to have this in our small community. Rabbi Mordey and Shaina have been so warm and welcoming to us all!”
Youth Programs: A weekly after-school program designed to infuse children with the love for Jewish heritage, the knowledge of the Hebrew Aleph Bet and Jewish holidays. Shaina makes the Hebrew Reading Class exciting with fun, hands-on learning.
Shabbat/Holiday Services and Meals: The Shabbat table is always filled with people from diverse backgrounds joining together to share a meaningful Shabbat experience. Between one and 60 guests attendi weekly.
Holiday Programs: From High Holiday services to Shavout ice cream parties, unite and celebrate each holiday, observing traditions and learning deeper, inspirational and meaningful practices for life.
Tourism: Chabad is available to accommodate the Jewish tourists who come year-round to enjoy a kosher Lake Tahoe setting for kosher food, prayer services, Shabbat meals and a “home away from home,” experience. “Your warmth and care, your wisdom and incredible cooking, your open-mindedness and welcoming and engaging atmosphere are amazing. I really wished I could have stayed for at least a few more days to experience more learning and singing,” said Leo from Palo Alto.
Prison Chaplaincy: Jewish inmates in local prisons, who are lonely but never forgotten, receive visits, bringing meaning to the expression: “No Jew will be left behind.”
Hospital Visitation: It’s a great Mitzvah to visit the sick. We know how difficult it can be during even a short a hospital stay so we stop by to visit with smile and prayer for a full and speedy recovery.
On Sunday, Aug. 17 the Chabad Jewish Center of Lake Tahoe will host what is sure to be an inspiring evening with Sassy Reuven, a veteran of the Israel Defense Special Operation Forces, as he tells this fascinating story. The lecture will be held at 7:30 p.m. with VIP cocktails and hors d’oeuvres with Reuven at 6 p.m., Chabad Jewish Center, 1898 Venice Drive in South Lake Tahoe.
His story is Israel’s story: of courage, endurance, optimism and a willingness to sacrifice it all for the right to live in freedom.
Limited seatingavailable! Visit JewishTahoe.com or call 530-314-7677 to purchase your ticket.