Rabbi Yossi Lerman has no part in determining who is inscribed in the Book of Life, but he can ensure that you are engraved for the life of the Chabad of Gwinnett Enrichment Center.
“Chabad of Gwinnett wants to include everyone in our building campaign,” the rabbi said. “We figured the best way to do this is to actually show them what Chabad is all about, and that is, we’re about giving.”
So instead of selling engraved bricks to help pay for construction costs, Rabbi Lerman and his wife, Esther, the co-directors of Chabad of Gwinnett (www.chabadofgwinnett.org) since September 2001, are offering every Jew in Gwinnett and Hall counties a red, 4-by-8-inch brick engraved with up to three lines so that all the members of Chabad’s Jewish family can be part of the project.
The Chabad center, now in a temporary, 2,000-square-foot building on Holcomb Bridge Road in Norcross, draws people from beyond those counties in places such as Dunwoody, so Jews elsewhere in metro Atlanta also can get engraved bricks.
“If somebody from New York wants a brick, that’s our limit,” Rabbi Lerman said, although such people can buy bricks ($45 for individuals and families, $500 for businesses).
Just the locals could produce quite a pile: Rabbi Lerman said his mailing list covers 11,000 Jewish households in Gwinnett and Hall.
To reserve your brick, go to www.brickmarkers.com/donors/chabad-enrichment-center and fill out the inscription you want.
There’s no rush: Rabbi Lerman expects the capital campaign for the planned 12,000-square-foot center on Spalding Drive in Peachtree Corners to take two years, and construction will last a couple of years after that.
The Lermans bought the property, which the rabbi said is commercially zoned despite being in a quiet residential area, a decade ago. But the time to push ahead with fundraising was never right.
Now, he said, “it just feels right,” in part because of the involvement of some special people, including the building campaign chairman, Scott Frank, the president of intellectual property for AT&T.
“The Chabad of Gwinnett that Rabbi Yossi and Esther have built is amazing, as it offers a tremendous number of Jewish programs,” Frank said. “The new building will allow the Chabad to grow its programs and serve many more people in the Gwinnett community, surrounding areas and throughout the world.”