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Jewish center has a new home

The Litchfield Enquirer

Litchfield’s Jewish Community Center has offered countless programs, ranging from craft workshops to make menorahs or sand art to musical concerts and summer camps.

Now the center has bigger plans at its new location in the Village Green.

Located behind the Blockbuster video store, the Liorah Greenberg Jewish Community Center is home to Chabad Lubavitch, a non-membership organization created to promote the Jewish culture. The community center in Litchfield serves as the Chabad Lubavitch headquarters in Northwest Connecticut.

“The best thing for us is the outreach,” said Rabbi Joseph Eisenbach, who runs the center. “We’re glad we have a home on Northwest Connecticut.”

Rabbi Eisenbach said they wanted a larger space than its former location on Route 202 in order to keep up with the center’s ongoing growth. He was also looking for a more private space with easy accessibility. The space in the Village Green has space for a synagogue, a meeting room, classrooms and a kosher kitchen.

To recognize the opening of the new center, Chabad Lubavitch of the Northwest Corner is celebrating a grand opening Oct. 2. Activities for the day will include a free Klezmer concert, craft projects and Israeli falafel. Local community leaders will be invited to the center’s ribbon cutting.

Following Sunday’s ribbon cutting event there are plenty of other programs planned for the upcoming year, starting with the celebration of Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year, which starts Oct. 3. Celebrations include a dinner, children’s programs and religious services.

Another holiday celebration is the Chanuka on the Slopes event in Woodbury. The annual event was created to celebrate the winter holiday and includes music, crafts and the lighting of an ice menorah. Chabad Lubavitch of the Northwest Corner also puts out an annual calendar marking all the Jewish holidays and their history.

One of the center’s largest events is the Jewish Fest. The festival is held annually in the late summer. Festivities include Jewish craft sessions, musical concerts and plenty of traditional foods.

“The Jewish Festival is our biggest thing. It really brings out the community at large and allows us to showcase the beauty of the Jewish culture,” Rabbi Eisenbach said.

Somewhat new to the nine-year-old center is Camp Gan Israel, a Jewish summer day camp held at Shepaugh Valley Regional High School in Washington. It ran for four weeks this past summer with 40 participants. Next year the program will probably expand to six weeks.

Rabbi Eisenbach said the Chabad Lubavitch of the Northwest Corner will remain at its current location at 7 Village Green Drive for one to two years, according to Rabbi Eisenbach. Eventually the group wants to secure private property and build a larger center.
Chabad Lubavitch can be reached at 860-567-3609. Its Web site address is www.chabadnw.com [1].