(lubavitch.com) Some 300 guests, among them community leaders, members and well wishers turned out last Sunday to celebrate the dedication of the new Chabad Educational Center of Northwest NJ.
The Educational Center will house a state-of-the-art Chabad Early Learning Center, the David Hoffman Hebrew School, the Chabad Hebrew High, the Rohr JLI – Adult Education Institute and Mei Menachem Community Mikvah (a first mikvah for Northwest NJ).
This New Jersey Jewish community of about 15,000, said Program Director Rabbi Mordechai Baumgarten, making reference to the current Torah reading, will now have a tabernacle, or sanctuary of its own.
Rabbi Moshe Herson, chief Chabad representative to the State of New Jersey, recalled the Rebbe’s remarks to him in a private audience 39 years ago as Chabad in New Jersey was taking its early steps. “I hope and trust that many other individuals will take a meaningful example from this initiative and also contribute to the spiritual and material welfare of the greater community of Northwest New Jersey.”
Among those greeting the guests was Louis Sceuci, Mayor of Rockaway Township: “We feel privileged to have the Chabad Center of Northwest New Jersey headquartered in Rockaway Township. The relationship of the Chabad Center and Rabbi Asher Herson with Rockaway Township goes long and deep. We sincerely look forward to enhancing and benefitting from that relationship in the years to come.”
Rabbi Asher Herson (Regional Director of the Chabad Center of Northwest New Jersey) promised that Chabad in the area will not rest on its achievements. “We are not comfortable with just celebrating this blessed moment. Our aspiration is to increase the accessibility and diversity of all our educational and charitable programs, so that every individual in our greater area, regardless of background or affiliation, feels that they have an address to turn to for any of their spiritual needs.”
Ari Hoffman, brother of David Hoffman for whom the David Hoffman Hebrew School is named, remembered his brother, and talked of how passionate David was about the work of Chabad and Rabbi Herson. David believed with all his heart and soul, said Ari, in the eternal spiritual message of the Torah, to all of humanity.