Metro Atlanta Chabad Inspires Growth, Jewish Engagement


Metro Atlanta Chabad Inspires Growth, Jewish Engagement

by Shaina Olidort - Atlanta, GA

February 5, 2014

For a community that keeps growing, the preschool expansion is another expression of how far Atlanta’s Chabad has come

As Atlanta’s Jewish community celebrated the expansion of its Chabad Center last month, many reflected on 30 years of a remarkable trajectory that has made Metro Atlanta a major Jewish city today.  

Greeting guests and community members at the Sunday January 18 dedication ceremony of the Jeff and Carrlla Goldstein wing, Rabbi Yossi New, regional director of Chabad of GA and senior rabbi at Congregation Beth Tefillah said:

“This new building is a community game changer. The school now has a facility that matches the quality of its program and the shul now has space for youth programs to accommodate the growing number of young families.”

In 1984, Atlanta’s Jewish community was on the cusp of an explosive population growth, poised to witness an incredible 300% increase from 1980 to 2000. But with only one active Orthodox synagogue, the community was ripe for leaders with vision, and Rabbi Yossi and Dassi New took the post of Chabad representatives to Atlanta.  

Today, under their direction, 11 Chabad centers have opened in Metro Atlanta serving a Jewish population of 120,000. It is the 9th largest Jewish community in the U.S. and growing.

Among its comprehensive educational and social programs, Chabad of Atlanta has earned a reputation for its outstanding Montessori preschool. Established several years ago by Mrs. New, the preschool has quickly grown to 100 children, and was soon followed by the opening of a Jewish day school which has added another grade every year.

As interest in the preschool continued to grow, the demand for more space became necessary. With the generous help of donors, the preschool’s former facilities were torn down and a new wing was added to Chabad’s main property. The enlarged preschool and additional classrooms, say Rabbi and Mrs. New, will attract yet more parents.

Jeff Goldstein, the main patron of the expansion, credits his involvement to the importance of Jewish education. “A child who receives a Jewish education is set to face the world with so many tangible benefits he has acquired through his schooling.”

Working to raise the bar of adult Jewish education, Rabbi New recently recruited two Jewish law students who will study Torah law from a local Rabbi and then lead community courses on a wide range of topics. “We really wanted to elevate the level of learning and bring high quality courses to the adults in the Jewish community of Atlanta,” Rabbi New told Lubavitch.com

Sunday’s ceremony was attended by Republican Senator Johnny Isakson who offered his greetings and appreciation for Chabad’s contribution to the city’s Jewish development.

Rabbi Isser New, associate director of Chabad of Georgia, expressed gratitude for the community-wide support this project garnered. 

“For 3 years we seem to have never stopped asking and you always answered the call.”

 

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