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Monday, October 2, 2023 - 17 Tishrei 5784
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Mr. Les Turchin

As Chabad House has recently published a full color 215 page pictorial album commemorating 37 years of service to Rutgers University and to central and southern New Jersey, we include one article weekly from this publication.

Call us if you wish to receive this (coffee table size) Commemorative Pictorial Album.  We will ship to you for a suggested contribution of $50.00
Les Turchin z”l was always candid about two facts: he initially resisted meeting Rabbi Carlebach,and ultimately he grew to support the work that Rabbi Carlebach does for thousands of people.

The late Mayor Harry Franco, who introduced the two men, once recalled, “Back then I told Les thathe had to meet this guy Rabbi Carlebach who was doing great things for Jewish students. At first he just didn’t want to commit and actually made his first contribution on the condition that Rabbi Carlebach stop calling him. But look at what happened. Therole he’s played in Chabad, I mean, he and Rabbi Carlebach became best of friends. What does that say? I know Les would call Rabbi Carlebach every single day.”

When Mr. Turchin underwent a personal crisis, it resulted in a lasting paradigm shift: it changed theway he viewed life and people. “Rabbi Carlebach was there for me, through thick and thin,” he reflected. Rabbi Carlebach had recognized an untapped spiritual energy in his friend. As their friendship blossomed, Mr. Turchin discovered his personal connection to Judaism. He began to put on tefillin every morning and look for other ways to inject Yiddishkeit into his life.

It was no surprise that Mr. Turchin was one of the first to support the Chabad House that bears his name. He was a unique man who became committed to helping all of the Jewish students at Rutgers. It was important to him to ensure that the Chabad House would be a vibrant symbol of Jewish tradition, continuity, and openness on campus.

“Les Turchin was a great man who stood up when no one else would,” recalls Rabbi Carlebach. “His vision and generosity motivated many other doors to lend their support to the Chabad House building campaign.”

In recognition of their deep friendship and Mr. Turchin’s significant legacy to Jewish life on the Rutgers Campus, Rabbi Carlebach observes his yahrzeit annually. Every year on the 20th of Tevet, Rabbi Carlebach goes to Florida to join Mr. Turchin’s family at the cemetery. This is an ultimate expression of hakarat hatov, for Mr. Turchin’s dedication to the Chabad House.



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