20 New Chabad Centers To Open on West Coast


by S. Olidort - ONTARIO, CA

January 15, 2003

Coming from San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego, Las Vegas and dozens of cities in between, 150 shluchim gathered last weekend for the 35th annual West Coast Chabad Shluchim convention at the Ontario Marriott. Appropriately themed Unity, the convention focused on the collective strength achieved through a unified, cohesive body of shluchim, working together towards the same goal of reaching every last Jew, and creating vibrant communities throughout the West Coast.

Greeting the convention by phone from Lubavitch World Headquarters in New York was Rabbi Yehuda Krinsky. The convention also featured prominent leaders and scholars who addressed a gamut of issues of interest to the Shluchim.

A much-anticipated event for Shluchim of the Wild West, as it gives them the opportunity to socialize, exchange ideas, and compare notes, the convention also introduced major plans on the horizon. Prominent on the agenda, said Rabbi B. Shlomo Cunin, director of West Coast Chabad since its founding in 1965, is CAFA, or Chabad Action For America, a program that will link Chabad programs in California and Nevada to the new White House faith-based initiatives. CAFA will identify Chabad’s social service and outreach programs that might be eligible for the funding provided by the initiative so that "programs that were previously overlooked because of their religious affiliations will now benefit from government funding, creating the possibility for further growth and establishing a paradigm for other Chabad centers across the nation," says Rabbi Chaim Cunin, spokesperson for Chabad of the West Coast.

In a gesture of solidarity with their fellow Jews in Israel, Chabad announced that it will work with the Israeli Consulate and the Israeli Ministry of Tourism to send Chabad rabbis to Israel, to offer much-needed encouragement and support. The first group is scheduled to travel to Israel at the end of February. The initiative, Chabad is hopeful, will in turn encourage members of the rabbis’ respective communities to do likewise, generating goodwill and support for Israsel during these difficult times.

To date, there are 180 Chabad-Lubavitch couples serving communities along the West coast in more than 100 centers, 25 day schools, and 30 summer camps. Topping off the conference announcements, Rabbi Cunin publicized plans to dramatically expand Chabad’s services in California by establishing an additional 20 Chabad centers here during the upcoming year, bringing the total number of centers serving California and Nevada’s Jews to 200.

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