By: Jen Russon
Friendly, open and inclusive of all types of Judaism is a familiar refrain when it comes to reviews of the Chabad Jewish Center. It not only offers its congregants daily services, a Hebrew school and religious classes but even has a culinary club.
In the last decade, it has become so popular, the center’s directors Rabbi Yankie Denburg and his wife, Chana have expanded and improved their facility located on the corner of Coral Ridge Drive and Atlantic Boulevard.
Denburg said their center – all of its programs and worship services – are entirely supported by the community it serves, adding that it’s the most active and involved people he wants to honor with a grand event this April. Without donors and volunteers, none of the growth the 10-year-old center has experienced would be possible.
“Many miracles have happened to us since we moved into our center and this gala is a way of launching the next decade,” said Denburg.
He described past renovations, like a brand new center façade, as well as future plans that will include a formal study, media and meditation room.
As a way of forwarding the Denburg’s vision for the Chabad, they have planned an evening of cocktails, sushi station, dinner and dessert, with the world-renowned illusionist, Ilan Smith booked for entertainment.
“This is a way to honor our major contributors,” said Denburg, explaining that many of the honorees are people he and his wife met when they opened the center a decade ago.
Denburg said one of the honorees, Carole Cohen, was among the first to open her door and accept the fresh-baked Challah his wife had made.
“We would knock on doors and introduce ourselves to the community that way,” said Denburg.
He explained that some of the others slated to receive recognition and awards, go way back in the center’s history – as Hebrew school parents, volunteers who prepare the synagogue for services, and those who are naming the center in their wills.
Mordechai Weinberg has pledged to leave behind a substantial legacy. The retired podiatrist, who lives a modest life in the Kings Point neighborhood of Tamarac, is slated to receive the Jewish Legacy Award at the gala event.
Three more awards will feature “crowns” of grace, kindness, and the Crown of Torah.
Denburg shared his personal memories of many of the honorees – among these, a story about how Marsha Richman was moved toward a deeper faith, when her son returned from a birthright trip to Israel.
This resonates with Rabbi Denburg. He grew up in Coral Springs, where he currently resides with his wife and six children, but studied Judaism in Israel, and has spread his vocation through the most impoverished parts of Asia and South Africa. His congregants in Coral Springs say the rabbi and his rebbetzin, Chana, treat everyone like family.
If you would like to help make the center feel even homier by attending its Gala Dinner and Awards Ceremony, on Sunday, April 7, please RSVP no later than March 28. The event is $125 per person. Sponsorships are available, and free valet parking will be provided. Cocktails begin at 5 p.m. and dinner will be served at 6 p.m.
Go to My Chabad Center to register. The Chabad Jewish Center is located at 11325 W. Atlantic Blvd.
Jen Russon is a freelance writer and English Language Arts teacher. She has published two novels to Amazon Kindle and lives in Coral Springs with her family.