Beth Menachem Chabad of Newton celebrated the move to its new synagogue and community center with a parade and open house on Wednesday, 15 Elul---September 14th.
Under the leadership of Rabbi Chaim Prus and his wife Nechama, Beth Menachem Chabad has been serving the Jewish community Newton since 2000, when it opened a Chabad center at 229 Dedham Street. In the 11½ years since then, Beth Menachem Chabad’s membership has outgrown its original home, necessitating a move to a state-of-the-art, multi-purpose facility up the road at 349 Dedham Street.
The new Beth Menachem Chabad includes abundant space for prayer services, Jewish learning, community and family celebrations and separate mikvaot for women and men. Beth Menachem Chabad is also the only synagogue in Newton that has invested in modern geo-thermal technology to provide heat and air-conditioning. The geo-thermal unit will not only save money but also protect the environment.
The ceremony commenced with the affixing of the mezuzahs on the main doors by the major donors of the new center. A motorcade from the old center arrived, led by two motorcycles ridden by congregation members. They were followed by an open pickup truck carrying the three Torah scrolls held by congregation elders, followed by a police escort with flashing lights. The Torah scrolls were taken off the truck they were received under a chuppah, and escorted with live music, song and dance into the shul, where they were placed in the aron kodesh for the first time.
The ceremony started with the sounding of the shofar by Rabbi Chaim Prus. The shofar was followed by reading the letter from the Rebbe for the opening of the first Chabad House in Boston dated 11 Elul 5741, exactly from 30 years ago. There were short speeches by Rabbi Prus and by Mr. Fred Chanowski, chairman of the building committee. A Rosh Hashanah crafts program for children was held simultaneously. A large buffet was served following the program, and the guests toured the building.
More than 300 people participated in the event. Rabbis Gershon Segal of Congregation Beth El Ateres Israel and Benjamin Samuels of Congregation Shaarei Tefillah Newton, as well as shluchim and dignitaries, took part in the festivities.