Late last month, Randolph’s Chabad Center for Jewish Life held its inauguration ceremony for its new 3,000-square-foot community complex on Hanover Avenue.
About 200 people attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony, including the center’s founders, donors, community members, and officials including Senator Anthony Bucco, Randolph Mayor Lou Nisivoccia, Morris County Sheriff James Ganon, and Township Zoning and Planning Officer Darren Carney.
In his opening speech at the program, Rabbi Avraham Bekhor, the center’s executive director and spiritual leader, said, “The Chabad Center for Jewish Life is founded on the values of community, connection, and celebration. It’s a place for the community to come together and unite, a space to connect to each other and to God, and a venue where we can celebrate family events and programs for all ages.”
The new center provides space for Chabad’s continued growth and contains a new multipurpose hall that will be used as the synagogue’s sanctuary and for hosting large community events. The future extension to the building will house the official social hall, Hebrew school classrooms, and a teen lounge, which will provide space for programming for the area’s growing Jewish community.
Known for its natural beauty and peaceful atmosphere, Randolph historically has been a holiday destination for Jews and eventually became home to a strong permanent Jewish community. In recent years, many young families have come to Randolph to settle and grow their families.
Since opening in 1987 at the behest of Rabbi Menachem M Schneerson, z”l, Chabad of Randolph has worked to serve the expanding community by providing social and humanitarian services, programming for all ages, synagogue services, Jewish educational classes, mentorship, and guidance.
Senator Bucco’s speech highlighted Chabad’s role in the community “It is important to be together and strong as a community,” he said. “We need to be united and respect each other despite any differences. This center celebrates that and is a place of light to dispel darkness in this world.”
“The new center will be a place of inspiration, joy, celebration, and community,” Randolph’s Mayor Nisivoccia said. He thanked the Chabad Center’s founders, the Tilson family, who moved to Randolph in the 1960s and established the Chabad
Center in 1987.
Anthony Paragano, who owned the building — which used to be a Baptist church — and sold it to Chabad, spoke to the crowd about their pride in the new owners.
Awards were presented to community donors and supporters. They included Amir Hadar, a real estate investor; Mr. Hadar, his wife, Naama, and their four children are key members of Chabad. Mr. Hadar was hailed as the visionary who was instrumental in orchestrating and handling the purchase of the new building. The new sanctuary is dedicated in the family’s name.
After they received a contribution allowing them to buy a significant portion of the property last year, the community came together to form a plan of action to acquire the rest of the funding. A multi-phased building plan was adopted with the first phase centered on the 3,000-square-foot building. Go to www.randolphjewish.com for information.