By Jill Fox
With the Jewish new year of Rosh Hashanah comes a new building for the more than 300 local families who are part of Chabad of Parkland.
After years of moving from location to location for services, classes, and other activities, the gorgeous new facility is ready to help usher in the year 5780.
Located on one and a half acres at 7170 Loxahatchee Road, in Parkland, the Michael and Betsy Brauser Chabad of Parkland Center for Jewish Life held its grand opening on September 19. The center bears the name of the foundation that donated over $1 million to enable Chabad to build its new facility.
“To finally have a permanent home means the world to the congregation,” said Rabbi Shuey Biston, the Chabad center’s outreach, and program director. They have been moving around Parkland for 20 years, beginning at The Winners Circle, then a storefront on 441 and Loxahatchee, followed by a small building on the current property. While under construction, their temporary home has been a modular doublewide.
“Park Trails Elementary for Hebrew school, services at the Marriott in Heron Bay—we were kind of all over the place,” said Rabbi Biston, who said the opening really is a tremendous accomplishment for the community.
The six-year building campaign raised $3 million from donors in the community. Now, with increased membership, and the ability to host events in a social hall that can accommodate 350 people, the Rabbi is optimistic they will be able to cover the other half of the $6 million project.
In addition to weekly Shabbat services, the impressive new facility can house Hebrew School for hundreds of children, their popular summer day camp, their friendship circle program for children with special needs and countless dinners and special events.
“Everyday is something else in that building, and now to have our own place is just a tremendous feeling of accomplishment,” said Rabbi Biston.
Another essential component of the new center is the sanctuary, which is used for bar and bat mitzvahs, weddings, and other events.
Rabbi Biston said the Chabad is fulfilling a tremendous void in the community by sharing the warmth of Judaism with people in Parkland.
“What’s unique about Chabad is that you don’t have to be a member to partake in any event,” he said.
For the Jewish holiday of Rosh Hashanah, the Chabad Center prepared its new building for 400 people, with an additional satellite service for 200 at the Heron Bay Marriott.
They accounted for hundreds of people just walking in. No tickets, no payments.
“They know that at Chabad, everyone is welcome.”
- Jill Fox is an Emmy Award-winning writer and producer. She is currently a Senior Account Director at Lon Haber & Co., a leading full-service public relations firm. Fox worked at NBC Miami for eight years after graduating from the University of Miami. She lives in Parkland with her husband, Brian and two children.