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New Chabad program targets unaffiliated, fulfills goal of study

Chabad of Kentucky has launched a new program designed to enhance the Jewish experience regardless of affiliation.
Celebrate with Friends is the fourth and final step of a program to increase Jewish activity, which came out of a study Chabad commissioned two years ago.
In this latest step, 64 programs will be scheduled between now and December 2019, each containing a Jewish component, such as lighting Shabbat candles, prayer, meditation or tradition, but they will be paired with an enjoyable activity meant to attract Jews who are not necessarily affiliated or synagogues goers.
Those activities could include biking, yoga, bowling, and cross training for the sports-minded, and lectures and dining to suit others. Each month there will more four distinct programs for people to consider.
“We left room to custom tailor events to the needs of the people coming,” said Rabbi Avrohom Litvin, regional director of Chabad of Kentucky.
The first four activities will be centered around the High Holy Days, Litvin said. After that, the program will offer four activities per month: one each for Friday night, Saturday morning, Saturday night and Sunday morning.
Participants can pick and choose, Litvin said.
“The point is to enable people to connect with G-d while Celebrating with Friends and having fun doing both.”
Chabad is working with the Jewish Heritage Fund for Excellence to support the project, but it also plans to do its own fundraising.
He said Chabad can “tailor” a program to suit participants. “The idea is to keep it safe and keep it enjoyable – no judgments.”
Litvin said the Celebrate with Friends program addresses the final need identified by the Chabad study. The other three were:
• Lexington is underserved. (Chabad of the Bluegrass has since opened.)
• The Louisville Jewish Day School should be relocated. (It has since been moved from Downtown to Dupont Circle.)
• The Eastern Suburbs are underserved. (Chabad Chai Center opened this past May in Prospect.)
“This is an opportunity for the community to do what they enjoy most with friends and family,” Litvin said of the new program, “within a Jewish experience.”

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