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New Chabad Center for Westford area

Lowell Sun

The newly established Chabad Center for Nashoba Valley, at 26 Tadmuck Road, has slated its first High Holiday services, following a Sept. 18 open house for the new center.

A kosher barbeque, as well as communal prayer, accompanied the official dedication of Chabad House, including the ceremonial affixing of its new Mezuzah. With leadership by Rabbi Zalman Gurkow and his wife, Malkie, Chabad provides support for the Jewish community of Westford and greater Lowell.

Since moving here in July, the Chabad Center has held a 10-day children’s day camp, Saturday morning services and a variety of classes and events. Its new Jewish Art Calendar contains information about family events, holiday awareness programs, lectures and classes as well as other religious, entertaining and assistance campaigns.

“Our aim is to expose the warmth and grandeur that is contained within the Jewish faith and fan the holy sparks within us into flames,” said Rabbi Zalman. “We are here to help Jews find their way back to their roots, to discover their core and ultimately reach the pinnacle of their soul — while increasing appreciation for the wonderful heritage which underlies our faith.”

Chabad, a worldwide Jewish outreach organization out of Brooklyn, N.Y., has more than 3,000 outreach centers, founded by one of the most influential, dynamic Jewish leaders of our time, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson of Blessed Memory (known as the Lubavitcher Rebbe). Chabad “emissaries” have been making inroads wherever Jews abide, its growth guided by the legacy the Rebbe left after passing in 1994.

Chabad of Nashoba Valley follows up the Chabad-based Nashoba Valley Jewish Center, which operated in Westford under Rabbi Mayshe Schwartz. “The new center is dedicated to continuing the same programs with a vision of growth and expansion for the future” said David Levy, a founder and volunteer.

Jews, regardless of affiliation and level of observance, are welcome. Chabad is noted for its embracing, non-judgmental approach in reaching out to all Jews to make them welcome. Many Jews participate in Chabad and remain involved in local congregations. Bob Schneider, member of both Chabad and a local Reform Temple, said “It’s a mitzvah to help out Jewish organizations — I particularly enjoy helping with the calendar and Web sites.”

Chabad of Nashoba Valley is looking forward to a good turnout at its series of free High Holiday Services, open to the public, at the Radisson Hotel in Chelmsford (listed under High Holiday services on this page). By offering educationally comprehensive services with English commentaries, coupled with traditional melodies and heartfelt Hebrew prayers, Rabbi Zalman said, he hopes to attract families and individuals. That includes those who otherwise know very little about the Holidays or Judaism as a whole, he said. “No need to pay membership dues – every Jew is already a member!”

For more information or to request a calendar, call the Chabad Center at 978-399-0045 or e-mail Rabbi@chabadnashoba.org. You can also visit their resource-rich Web site at www.chabadnashoba.org [1].