2017-06-21 / Home

Chabad breaks ground on building that will double structure’s size

By DAVID PORTNOE Voice Editor


Celebrating the ceremonial groundbreaking for the Chabad expansion were (from left), Tami Starkman, Marilyn Croman, Dinie Mangel, Claire D’Angelo, Campaign Chair Lou D’Angelo, Chabad Director Rabbi Mendy Mangel, Yisroel Croman, Building Chair Morris Starkman, and Chabad President Dr. Joel Chack. Celebrating the ceremonial groundbreaking for the Chabad expansion were (from left), Tami Starkman, Marilyn Croman, Dinie Mangel, Claire D’Angelo, Campaign Chair Lou D’Angelo, Chabad Director Rabbi Mendy Mangel, Yisroel Croman, Building Chair Morris Starkman, and Chabad President Dr. Joel Chack. When Chabad Lubavitch of Camden & Burlington Counties moved into its current location at 1925 Kresson Road in Cherry Hill in 2002, approximately 50 people would come weekly for Shabbat services. Today, 200 people come every week. In addition, the Hebrew school has 80 children enrolled and 50 people often come for adult education classes.

Chabad celebrated its present success and is looking to the future by launching an expansion of its current building. On Sunday, June 11, Chabad conducted a ceremonial groundbreaking that will greatly enhance its ability to grow. The event was attended by several hundred people, who came out on a hot June day to witness the groundbreaking.


Area Chabad leadership at the groundbreaking were (from left), Shterna Kaminker, Baily Kahan, Dinie Mangel, Chabad Lubavitch of Camden and Burlington Counties Director Rabbi Mendy Mangel, Chabad of Medford Director Rabbi Yitzchok Kahan, Chabad of Gloucester County Director Rabbi Avi Richler, Chabad at Rowan University Director Rabbi Hersh Loschak; and Israeli Chabad Center Director Rabbi Menachem Kaminker. Area Chabad leadership at the groundbreaking were (from left), Shterna Kaminker, Baily Kahan, Dinie Mangel, Chabad Lubavitch of Camden and Burlington Counties Director Rabbi Mendy Mangel, Chabad of Medford Director Rabbi Yitzchok Kahan, Chabad of Gloucester County Director Rabbi Avi Richler, Chabad at Rowan University Director Rabbi Hersh Loschak; and Israeli Chabad Center Director Rabbi Menachem Kaminker. “The enthusiastic response in our community is what led to this,” said Chabad President Dr. Joel Chack. He said that the growth of Chabad since Rabbi Mendy Mangel and his wife Dinie came to the community in 1993 and began the local branch of the worldwide Chabad movement in a storefront in Voorhees, is a testament to the vision of Chabad and the late Rebbe, Menachem Mendel Schneerson, that every Jew is valuable and that Chabad should work to raise the level of Jewish awareness, observance, and Jewish life of every Jew. “This expansion means that we are achieving the goals beyond what we thought we would originally do,” said Chack. He said that this is an amazing success story for Chabad here in Southern New Jersey and worldwide. He noted that the expansion follows the building of a mikvah 10 years ago.


Project Architect Albert Taus (left) was honored with a special award. Congratulating him were (from left), Building Chair Morris Starkman, Campaign Chair Lou D’Angelo, and Chabad Lubavitch of Camden & Burlington Counties Director Rabbi Mendy Mangel. Project Architect Albert Taus (left) was honored with a special award. Congratulating him were (from left), Building Chair Morris Starkman, Campaign Chair Lou D’Angelo, and Chabad Lubavitch of Camden & Burlington Counties Director Rabbi Mendy Mangel. At the groundbreaking, Rabbi Mangel pointed to the weekly Torah portion’s description of the ancient Menorah, which had seven branches, but was built entirely out of one piece of gold. He said that this menorah, which is featured on the Chabad building, is emblematic both of the diversity of Chabad, which is home to religious Jews and “soon-to-be-religious Jews,” Ashkenazim, Sephardim, young and old, and people of diverse backgrounds, and the unity of the Jewish people. “At our core, we are all one solid piece of gold,” said Mangel, who also noted the fact that Chabad has grown not only at its existing building, but there is now a Chabad in Medford led by Rabbi Yitzchok and Baily Kahan, and an Israeli Chabad Center, located at the site of the original Chabad storefront in Voorhees, led by Rabbi Menachem and Shterna Kaminker.

“We’ve outgrown our limits,” said Morris Starkman, building chair of the project that will double the size of Chabad’s current building. “It’s very exciting and inspirational,” he said of the project that will take several months to complete.

Louis D’Angelo, chair of the building fund aspect of the expansion, said that the capital campaign was started 1 1/2 years ago. At that time, $1.2- million was raised from a number of committed donors who have been with Chabad for many years. “Now we will ask for volunteers to help finish the project,” he said.

“Anyone who would like can contribute, whether they belong to Chabad or not. All Jews are welcome. That was the Rebbe’s philosophy,” said D’Angelo during an interview prior to the groundbreaking ceremony.

The groundbreaking also featured remarks by Claire D’Angelo, who spoke of her family’s history of Holocaust survival and her hopes for the future, and Yisroel Croman, whose parents were devoted supporters of Chabad in Southern New Jersey, a tradition that he is continuing. 

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