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Sunday, April 12, 2009

Where we Worship: Chabad Lubavitch of Northwest CT

Chabad Lubavitch of Northwest Connecticut is one of 5,000 centers worldwide where Jews of all backgrounds, who are not members of the syna gogue, can stop in anytime for worship.
“We come together and build communities.
That’s what Chabad is,” Rabbi Joseph Eisenbach said. He and his wife, Mina, came to Litchfield to start the community center in 1996. “Since then it’s grown in leaps and numbers,” he said. “I’ve seen it grow from one person to standing room only on Jewish holidays.”
Services are Fridays at 6 p.m. and Saturdays at 9 a.m. The Saturday service is followed with an 11:30 a.m. lunch each week. The Friday night service is also followed with a traditional meal.
Services are held in Litchfield at 7 Village Green Drive, behind the Blockbuster.
“We’re the alternative entertainment,” Eisenbach joked.
Since membership is not required, he said worship attendance varies from 15 up to 120, de pending on the time of year. “We’re the only temple in the northwest where no membership is required. Chabad is the biggest mix of everyone together because there are no labels, we have people from all walks of life,” Eisenbach said. “The warmth and family spirit here is very unique.” The synagogue also hosts two Hebrew schools for children. One is held in Litchfield and one is held in Waterbury.
Eisenbach said he hopes next year to launch one in Southbury.
Currently, through Chabad’s Jewish Learning Institute, adults can participate in a course called “Biblical Reflections.” “It’s fabulous because you find yourself in the main stories in the Bible,” he said, noting that chabads throughout the world are teaching the same course.
Eisenbach added that Chabad’s Internet ministry is an important aspect of the synagogue.
“Years ago you had to travel to a house of worship to learn and study, today you can be any where and everywhere and connect, study and learn. That’s the beauty of our web program, everything is right in your living room,” Eisen­bach said.
For information on Chabad Lubavitch visit www.chabadnw.org

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