For the past six years, Rabbi Zev Katz and his ‘Mitzvah Mobile’ a converted RV he calls Chabad on Wheels, has been a familiar, if incongruous site, on the streets of South Beach. Stocked with Jewish books and tapes, Tefillin and Shabbat candles, and all the relevant holiday paraphernalia, the traveling Chabad ‘center’ cruises the neighborhood with frequent stops for ‘shmoozing’ and teaching.
Chabad on Wheels is the site for a lunch and learn program which attracts a dozen people weekly. Fifteen people at a time squeezed in during the recent Purim holiday to hear the Megillah being read several times during the day. Rabbi Katz estimates that on an average Sunday, 40 men and boys will come in to put on Tefillin, some for the first time in their lives.
This Sunday, March 28th, Chabad on Wheels will be getting a new and improved home. Sponsored in part by a grant from the Duchman family, the new ‘center’ will be housed in a brand new, luxurious, 2004 custom-converted bus. New amenities will include built in bookshelves for a Judiac library and all the necessities for a traveling synagogue. The ribbon cutting ceremony will take place in front of the Jewish Learning Center on Arthur Godfrey Road.