Outdoor Plaza Named for Mr. Sami Rohr
(lubavitch.com) About one thousand visitors and members of the Kiryat Arba community in Israel joined the dedication of the new Beis Chaya Mushka House, Tuesday, August 7. Perched in the Judean Hills overlooking the Cave of the Patriarchs, it will be the center of activities hosted by Rabbi Rafael and Mushka Brod, new emissaries to the Kiryat Arba-Hebron area. The Brods will be the fourth couple to serve the area, and will focus on youth activities as well as Torah classes.
The new $1.3 million center is a testament to communal cohesion in the face of tragedy. In 1998, the city awarded a parcel of land to head Chabad emissaries in the city, Rabbi Victor and Devora Attiya. But logistical problems seemed insurmountable, and the lot remained undeveloped. Tragedy struck in August of 2006 when Chaya Mushka, the Attiya’s seven year-old daughter died in a fire that broke out near their home.
In the days after the tragedy, the Kiryat Arba community rallied behind an initiative to build a new center in Chaya Mushka’s memory. After an initial donation from philanthropist Mr. Lev Leviev, the center was financed largely by local residents. At the Tuesday dedication, guests and friends also welcomed a new Torah scroll, dedicated in memory of Shoshana Pykovski.
According to Rabbi Danny Cohen, Chabad Emissary to Hebron and leader of development for the new building, in addition to serving the area’s 8000 residents, soldiers stationed in the area and tourists, the center will especially cater to the needs of the city’s children. “I can’t think of anything more fitting to Chaya Attiya's memory, than Jewish children coming together in a spirit of unity and education,” he told lubavitch.com.
The new center features a state-of-the-art playground, a children’s library, and an expansive outdoor plaza designed for childrens programs. Until now, activities attracting up to 1000 children were held in various rented venues in the city. The new space, which will allow even more children to participate, was named for Jewish philanthropist, Mr. Shmuel [Sami] Rohr, of blessed memory.
“The new center's dedication happened to have been scheduled only hours after Mr. Rohr’s funeral. Although I did not know him personally, I felt it would be a worthy tribute to his legacy that the childrens plaza located minutes away from Me-arat Ha-Machpelah be dedicated to his memory."