The Chabad Israeli Center Atlanta has a new home, having closed on a property in Brookhaven on Monday, Dec. 7.
After holding services at Congregation Beth Tefillah and maintaining administrative offices in Dunwoody since moving from its original location along Roswell Road in Sandy Springs, the Chabad center for the local Israeli community will consolidate everything it does into a renovated facility at 4276 Chamblee-Dunwoody Road.
“This will be a full center, not just a synagogue,” said Rabbi Mendy Gurary, who leads the center. “It will be a place where every Israeli can connect, regardless of if they are secular or religious. They will be able to connect whether they are coming for food, events, day care or their support of Israel. Everything will be under one roof.”
The purchase is part of a $3 million project to upgrade the Chabad center. The new facility will include a social hall for private events, a preschool, a library, a student lounge, a kosher kitchen and cafe, and a mikvah.
In addition to providing programming to Israelis from toddlers through adults and delivering educational seminars and lectures that connect with community leaders and second-generation Israelis, the center will have an interactive wing focusing on Israel for the general public. Visitors will find information on Israeli history, art and culture.
“We have listened to the needs of the community and have undertaken the mission of developing a full-service center for Jewish activities,” reads the center’s vision for the facility, used in fundraising.
An online campaign, in which three big donors matched contributions on a 3-to-1 basis, brought in $200,000 to complete the fundraising for the purchase.
While the building needs work to meet Chabad’s needs, it is in move-in condition, and the offices should settle in there within a week, said Kari Sadeh, the center’s director of programming. The intention is to move Shabbat services there within a month.
The Chabad Israeli Center usually draws more than 100 people for Shabbat and up to 1,000 for special events. The hope is that the new location will enable growth by being easily accessible to more Israelis because the site is so close to Interstate 285.
“It really was based on the property and the potential,” Sadeh said.