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Northernmost Chabad to Open in Fairbanks, Alaska

Rabbi Heshy and Chani Wolf will be launching Chabad’s northernmost outpost in Fairbanks, just 140 miles south of the Arctic Circle in Alaska’s heartland.

The Wolfs will serve the local community of 1,000 or so hardy Jews who call the frigid city home year-round, as well as tourists who visit to enjoy Alaska’s natural beauty and mild summers. The Chabad couple will also serve Jewish students on campus at the University of Alaska Fairbanks and military personnel stationed at nearby Fort Wainwright and Eielson Air Force Base.

Jay Ramras, a prominent hotelier, philanthropist and former three-term Alaska State Representative, extended a warm welcome to the Chabad emissaries. Ramras purchased a building that will serve as the new Fairbanks Chabad House, situated on an acre of land just south of Downtown Fairbanks. Ramras is doing so to encourage the Wolfs “To create the foundations of the Fairbanks Jewish community that will last forever,” he said.

Rabbi Heshy Wolf shares Passover Shmurah Matzah in Fairbanks

While the Wolfs are the city’s first permanent Chabad reps, Fairbanks has a long history of involvement with Chabad. In 1976, fifteen years before Chabad had a permanent presence in Alaska, Rabbi Moshe Feller, director of Chabad of Minnesota—then the northernmost Chabad in the U.S.—dispatched a young Chabad rabbi to visit Fairbanks for Purim.

Chabad centers in Minnesota, Washington State, and Alaska sent visiting rabbis to provide for the community’s Jewish needs. With the opening of a full time Chabad center in Fairbanks, Chabad-Lubavitch has a new northernmost outpost, a fulfillment of the Rebbe’s oft-repeated call to reach Jews wherever they are. 

The Wolfs meet with Jewish military personnel

“Rabbi Heshy and Chani Wolf visited Fairbanks last summer and met many community members while conducting various activities with children and adults throughout their visit,” said Rabbi Yosef Greenberg, regional director of Chabad of Alaska. “They visited again this winter, to get the feel of Alaskan life and the dark and cold winter days of Fairbanks. But they felt the welcome embrace and the warmth of many Fairbanks community members.”

Chani Wolf leads a Challah Bake in Fairbanks, Alaska
Tefillin in Fairbanks, Alaska
Comment 1
  • Mazel Tov on your new adventure, wishing you all much joy , happiness and good health. You are a blessing to the people out there.

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