Chabad Lubavitch celebrates its building expansion


Courtesy of Chana Mangel (Chabad Lubavitch ofCamden and Burlington Counties, NJ)

Members of the Chabad community begin the groundbreaking ceremony

Chelsea Stern, Eastside Community Editor

Chabad Lubavitch, a Cherry Hill synagogue and learning center for the Jewish community, celebrated the progress in its building expansion with a groundbreaking ceremony on Sunday, June 14.  Two hundred representatives of Jewish community kicked off the construction project with a night complete with a DJ, celebratory dinner, magic show and an award ceremony for main contributors.

“You feel right at home.  It’s a very warm and loving congregation,” said Campaign Chair Lou D’Angelo.

The groundbreaking ceremony began with honorable speakers acknowledging the tremendous growth Chabad’s congregation since its beginning.  The first step of its expansion started when Chabad Lubavitch moved from a small storefront neighboring Bagel Bin off of Kresson-Gibbsboro Road in Voorhees to its very own location in Cherry Hill.

“The project has been envisioned for about two years and we finally got our building permits this past Friday,” said D’Angelo.

In recent years, many have noticed that the spaces reserved for luncheons, prayer services, summer camp, men and women’s clubs, teen groups and adult classes have become overcrowded and cramped.  The growing spacial issues pushed the need to expand even further.

“The additions are going to add a new sanctuary,…a general purpose room and we are going to expand the downstairs into a larger area for learning purposes,” said D’Angelo.

“We are not just going to build a larger facility, but we are going to supply better programs,” said Rabbi Mendy Mendel.

Hardhats strapped on, the main contributors were the first to dig their shovels into the ground behind the current building to signify the commencement of the construction.

“We’re moving out about 6,000 feet and we are going to double the footprint of the current building,” said D’Angelo.

The non-profit synagogue owes its success and growth to the generous donations provided by the people of the community looking to maintain and refurbish their place of valued education and worship.

“We have raised to date $1,200,000 from a select number of committed Jews,” said Campaign Chair Lou D’Angelo.

The Chabad Lubavitch faculty hopes that the project will be complete in approximately seven months.  Until then, all services and classes will be moved elsewhere as the renovations inside are far too disruptive.

This is not the end for Chabad as the congregation follows the project slogan of “building the future.”  They have called upon the people of the community to continue the prosperity of the local home for Jewish people of all ages.

“The special significance is to motivate people to say we have 1,200,000 more dollars we need to raise,” said D’Angelo