The Chabad Jewish Center of Greater St. Petersburg recently purchased a 1/2 acre parcel of land on the outskirts of Downtown St Pete at 533 4th Street North. The organization paid $1.7 million for the land, which will be the future home of The Chabad Center for Jewish Life and Learning.
A two-story 10,000 SF building will be constructed on the site, including a dedicated parking lot. “It aims to be a welcoming place where every Jewish citizen in our community will feel right at home,” says Chabad’s Rabbi Alter Korf. The new facility will be a great addition to Downtown St. Pete, where there are currently zero Jewish synagogues or community centers.
Chabad is one of the largest Hasidic groups and Jewish religious organizations in the world, particularly known for its outreach activities. In 2005, the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs reported that up to one million Jews attend Chabad services at least once a year.
Effort is often made to provide an atmosphere in which the nonobservant will not feel intimidated by any perceived contrast between their lack of knowledge of Jewish practice and the advanced knowledge of some of the people they meet there.
At the new Chabad Center in Downtown St Pete, there will be events held for every age group, including Hebrew school and Bar/Bat Mitzvah training, teen programming, adult education classes, women’s events, Mommy and Me program for infants and toddlers, and a summer camp for kids age 5-12.
Shabbat dinners, holiday celebrations, and lifecycle events are a significant component of the new center. To accommodate these events, the new building will include an expansive social hall, a rooftop deck, and a library and conference space for smaller and more intimate meetings, lunches and classes. A kosher commercial kitchen will also be built, providing food for Chabad’s various events.
The entire project, including the land, is estimated to cost almost $5 million. Chabad has already lined up more than half of the funds needed, but naming opportunities are still available.
The goal is to have the new facility fully complete sometime in 2021.
At the moment, Chabad has to rent facilities for many larger events because they do not have space to host in their current location at 4010 Park St N in northwest St. Pete. However, many programs are just too challenging to do off site. Chabad expects all of their programs to grow, and once they have a home for it, they can add many new programs and events.
Those wishing to find out more can reach out to Rabbi Alter Korf at Rabbi@ChabadSP.com or call 727-344-4900.