Rabbi Mendel and Sheva Rapoport were recently appointed to join the team at Chabad of Northridge in the San Fernando Valley in California. They will boost Chabad’s activities in Greater Northridge and take over leadership of the Northridge CTeen chapter.
Northridge is home to approximately 25,000 Jews. The local charter high school boasts 1,000 Jewish students among its student body of 5,000.
The Rapoports began meeting their new community virtually and hosted a safe, in-person bonfire and barbecue for teens. “Right now especially, people are really looking to connect to others in a warm and friendly, safe, and healthy environment,” explains Sheva. “We intend to continue helping them do just that.”
They will also be leading a new initiative in memory of Aaron Freidman, a Northridge community member who combined his passion for the culinary arts with a love of Judaism. Aaron’s Culinary Experience aims to do the same, bringing the richness of Judaism to the community through a series of creative food-related programs, uniting Jews of all ages and persuasions over the same culinary traditions that have brought Jews together for centuries.
“The teens and the wider community have welcomed us,” Rabbi Mendel says. “We can’t wait to continue bringing joyful Jewish programming to the teens of Northridge.”