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Thursday, Aug 28, 2014
Pasco Tribune

Chabad Jewish Center finds a home

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TRINITY — Nearly eight years ago, Rabbi Yossi and Dina Eber started out in a rented three-bedroom house in Trinity that served as both their home and a synagogue.

As attendance grew, they rented space in the Trinity Oaks Shopping Center, on Trinity Boulevard. Last month, West Pasco’s Jewish community found a permanent home in Trinity at 10733 Maple Creek Drive, #101, a 3,900-square-foot building bought to house the Chabad Jewish Center of West Pasco.

“It’s going to accommodate the crowds we get,” Eber said. “The other place is too small. It’s nice to have your own place and a sense of stability and not be dependent on a landlord.”

The synagogue will be remodeled. Right now it has a main room for the sanctuary, as well as a library with Jewish books for children and adults. In addition to Shabbat and High Holiday services, the center has events for all the Jewish holidays, as well as classes for adults, a Sunday school and Hebrew school program, and events geared specifically toward women.

“The Chabad Center is a beacon of light in Pasco County, reaching out to Jews of all affiliations and backgrounds,” Eber wrote in a news release. “There is no required membership fee and no one is ever turned away.”

The Ebers find and reach out to Jews throughout the community — including those who might have no connection to Judaism.

Since moving to the area from Brooklyn, N.Y., they have given classes and reached out to people through services and education. They host an annual menorah lighting, community Passover Seder, Purim parties and Sukkot events.

Rabbi Eber estimates the number of Jews in the area could be as high as 2,000, many of them intermarried, unaffiliated or both.

The 250-year-old Chabad movement, part of Hasidic Judaism, has more than 3,800 emissary couples such as the Ebers stationed in 45 U.S. states and 80 foreign countries. They practice a traditional yet mystical form of Judaism, searching out non-practicing Jews, inviting them into their homes for Shabbat meals, teaching classes and building an easygoing community.

The new building will serve as a home away from home for Jews who want to share life events and holidays with the community.

“It is really a blessing to have the opportunity to expand and to further meet the needs of Jews in the area,” Rabbi Eber said. “We have met many wonderful people since moving here. We look forward to growing with the community for many years to come.”

The center will hold a grand opening next month; details are pending.

dmiller@suncoastnews.com

(727) 815-1067

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