Rabbi Mendy and Dobie Mentz were recently appointed to establish a Chabad community in West Bel Air, Los Angeles. The Mentzes visited the neighborhood over Sukkot with a mobile sukkah equipped with an automatic hand sanitizer pump and masks. “We visited individuals at their homes and people were excited to hear that Chabad is coming to town. They were quick to give us their contact info and want to be included in a future community,” Mendy said.
Mendy estimates that West Bel Air is home to between 1500 and 2000 Jews. The young couple hopes to be up and running in time for Chanukah and look forward to establishing a synagogue and programming options for Jewish education in the future. Covid school closures brought the issue of education to the forefront for many parents, who, said Mendy, expressed an interest in Jewish schooling. With a Masters degree in education, Dobie plans to create an educational program that will nurture children “with love and tremendous appreciation for Jewish life, tradition and values as well as all the other life skills they need.”
“Today more than ever before, especially due to Covid, the value of community has come to the forefront. So the ability to create a space for Jewish families to meet each other and create meaningful bonds, for elders to mentor the younger members, kids to meet other Jewish kids, is something more valuable than money can buy. We look forward to establishing a warm, welcoming and non-judgmental Jewish community for West Bel Air,” Mendy said.
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