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Chabad House of Monroe Moves
by Debra Rubin, NJJN

Chabad House of Monroe has leased this building at
352 Applegarth Rd. to temporarily house its activities and Everything Jewish store while it moves ahead on plans to build
a $2.5 million center.

Still awaiting approval on an application to construct a new $2.5 million building, the Chabad House of Monroe has leased temporary space.

The temporary space, on the corner of Applegarth and Prospect Plains roads, will house the Chabad’s synagogue, Judaica store, and educational activities.

Rabbi Yehuda Spritzer said the property became available about a month ago.

“There are a lot of things we want to do while we’re waiting for our new building to materialize,” said Spritzer.

Spritzer said that the start of construction on the new building, planned for a 3.5-acre site on Applegarth, has been delayed because of the unanticipated length of time needed to secure construction permits. Ground breaking, which was to have taken place last year, is now expected in the late spring. Completion of the new center is expected to take almost another two years.

The two-story permanent building will eventually house a synagogue, areas for senior and youth activities, a social hall for up to 400 people, and classrooms.

“Even for me, this has been frustrating, but we know everyone has to pass this project,” said the rabbi. “We have been told there are no problems, that we will get all the permits. It’s just taking a very long time.”

In the meantime, Spritzer said, the temporary site would allow the Chabad House to reopen its Everything Jewish Judaica store, which had been in the Concordia Shopping Center but has been closed for the last year.

“It just became impossible to work on the new building and operate the store,” said Spritzer. “We were always having to close it for long periods of time. But it’s been missed by a lot of people.”

With its new space, Chabad will begin a Tuesday lunch program for those in need of camaraderie or who have difficulty cooking for themselves. Once in the permanent facility, Spritzer said, he hopes the program can be expanded to other days.

Among the activities at the temporary site will be Chabad’s Sunday morning tefillin breakfast club — joking referred to as “our lox, Scotch, and tefillin club” by Spritzer.

The breakfast program was started “to combat the evil by bringing light to the world” after a Chabad emissary and his wife were among those killed by Islamic terrorists who stormed the Chabad Jewish Center in Mumbai, India, on Nov. 26.

Many activities previously held at Spritzer’s Kelly Court home, including Shabbat morning services, will take place in the interim house. The rabbi said he expects the move will be welcomed by many of his neighbors, “who will be very glad to have us holding services and activities in an independent shul and office building.”






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