Rabbi Chaim and Seema Lipszyc, along with their two children, Chana and Nissim Chai, will be moving to Spring Hill, Hernando County shortly after Chanukah to provide Jewish resources to the 3000 Jews living in Hernando County and nearby Citrus County.
“There is no Jewish federation, Jewish day school, or kosher food here, and many Jews do not feel that they are part of a community,” says the Rabbi. Chabad hopes to target these issues by launching new programs such as a kosher delivery service, adult social events and classes, and events exclusively for women, as well as a business forum to facilitate networking and teach necessary job-finding skills. Seema, who has extensive experience with children and has taught at three different schools in the past, will run a Mommy-and-Me program, as well as other children’s programs.
Those objectives are a bit more long-term, but the Lipszycs have plans for the immediate future, too. The first task on their list? A grand Chanukah menorah lighting event that will take place on December 28th, featuring Magic Man Van Valin, Chanukah-themed crafts, and of course, hot latkes. The Lipszycs sent out a mailing to 2500 homes advertising the event and plan to reach out to local Jews via social media. So far, they say, the response has been warm and encouraging.
“We enjoy Chabad and look forward to working with them and helping them cultivate the Spring Hill Jewish community,” David and April Nefores, residents of the Spring Hill community wrote in a press release for Chabad of Tampa Bay, under whose umbrella Chabad of Spring Hill is opening..
Naomi Bloom, a longtime Tampa resident who works in Hernando County, says she was astonished by the ignorance many had of Judaism. “Now working in Hernando County, it is unbelievable that there could possibly be so many people from all walks of life who have no concept of our rich heritage and religion,” she says. “I am thrilled that there will be a presence in Hernando County, and I commend [Chabad] on their courage to take on the challenge.”
The new Chabad representatives are motivated by their vision.
“Chabad Spring Hill is a place where every Jewish person is welcome, regardless of affiliation or level of knowledge,” Rabbi Lypszyc wrote on the Chabad fundraising page. “Our sole purpose is to create a warm welcoming environment to explore and experience our heritage in a non-judgmental and inviting atmosphere.”
For more information, visit www.chabadspringhill.com.