(lubavitch.com) Though launching a $6 million dollar capital campaign during an economic downturn presents an obvious challenge, Rabbi Shua Rosenstein at Chabad of Yale is seeing healthy progress.
Board member and campaign chairman Brad Berger ‘77 has pledged a $1 million dollar donation toward the building campaign. When renovations on the 9,000 square foot building will be completed, it will be named the Berger Family Building, for Berger’s great-grandparents Herman and Faye Berger and four sons, who perished in the Holocaust.
“I knew I would make a meaningful gift to Chabad since I began working on the building with Rabbi Rosenstein,” says Berger. “The project hit my sweet spot; it touches on young Jewish people and Yale, which is where I studied. My enthusiasm for the project has grown as the project moves forward.”
Rabbi Rosenstein says the gift “will allow us to accelerate to the point that we will be able to begin building in the summer, almost immediately after the tenants move out.”
Some 2,000 Jewish students attend Yale, representing 25 percent of the student population. While the current premises are bursting at the seams with Jewish students, Rosenstein says “new building will accommodate the multitudes of students who attend Chabad and increase our resources to add classes on Jewish themes.”
Beyond the financial concerns, Berger has been instrumental in the planning and designing of the building as well.
“Rabbi Rosenstein and I have a complimentary relationship. I have twenty-two years of experience in building design, developing and construction, so I’ve been able to help in those areas.”
Zachary Fuhrer is the President of Chabad at Yale.
“This donation will hopefully encourage more alumni to support what will surely be an incredible project that will provide limitless opportunities for Jewish students at Yale,” he says.