[by Rabbi Avrohom Litvin]
On August 9, an hour before Shabbos was set to begin, Louisville’s new Chabad House opened its doors for the first time amid much joy and celebration. The first program was attended by over 90 people of all ages from a wide cross-section of the community.
The goal was to create a dynamic, family oriented center, to enhance the Louisville Jewish community by promoting Jewish pride, celebration and education. Furthermore, the Chabad House has been set up to encourage every participant to feel welcome to worship, learn and experience their heritage, in a non-judgmental and joyous atmosphere.
There are no membership requirements at the Chabad House and everyone is welcome – regardless of observance, affiliation, or financial status. Chabad House is committed to offer “Judaism with a Smile” and a home away from home for everyone who walks through its doors.
Initially, the Chabad House will offer 10 programs to the community ranging from adult education to children’s programming, to activities for teens and young adults. Shabbos and holiday services will be highlighted by insights from Jewish philosophy and mysticism.
A number of events will be offered especially for women, such as the superiority of the feminine soul as taught in the Kabbalah, and a hands-on kosher cooking series for items such as challah, cholent and other traditional holiday dishes.
The Chabad House seeks to encourage people to connect to G-d on their own terms and at their own pace.
For those who want to pray, there will be Shabbos prayer services each Friday evening at sunset and Saturday morning at 10 a.m. Once a month, there will be an introductory Shabbos Mussaf service at 11 a.m. followed by a Kiddush luncheon.
On the second and fourth Friday of each month, a program called TGIS – Thank G-d It’s Shabbos, will begin with services at 7 p.m. and be followed by a dinner to help people experience Shabbos in its fullest sense. There will also be prayer services each morning and evening.
For those who want to study, there will be classes each Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evening, and other classes will be held on a monthly basis. A more complete list of classes and programs can be found at Chabadky.com.
On Monday, September 2, Labor Day, from 12-2 p.m., Chabad will host an official opening, during which they will dedicate of their Torah scrolls and affix Mezuzah scrolls on each of their doors. There will be refreshments on hand and the entire community is invited to take part in the celebratory opening of this new community resource.
At 3 p.m., Chabad House will present a Model Shofar Factory, a hands-on workshop for the young and the young at heart. Rabbi Chaim and Rabbi Baruch will guide you through the step-by-step process of crafting your very own shofar. Participants will also learn to distinguish a kosher shofar from a collection of exotic animal horns from all over the world.
Participants will see how to separate the shofar from the core, clean and measure the cured horn. They will then be able to saw off the solid end of the shofar and drill the mouthpiece. The horn is cleaned, tested and polished. Participants will also be guided in the proper way to blow the shofar. The cost of the Shofar Factory program is $5 per person.
The address of the Chabad House is 1564 Almara Circle, just a block away from the JCC. For more information visit Chabadky.com or call 235-5770 or 994-9233.