Thein Agoura Hills has blossomed into the new Chabad Community Campus, Center for Jewish Living, and will celebrate its grand opening Sunday with a ribbon-cutting ceremony featuring local dignitaries.
The newly constructed, state-of-the-art multipurpose facility, which was five years in the making, will allow Chabad to expand its existing educational and social service programs and to start up many new ones.
Rabbi Moshe Bryski, the executive director of the Chabad of the Conejo, said that the expansion was inevitable. "It's the people,” he said. “As the numbers of children and adults participating in our programs and events have grown in leaps and bounds over the years, it has long been apparent that a center like this would simply have to be built.”
The new two-story building, located at 30345 Canwood St., is situated behind the original Chabad and will house administrative headquarters, classrooms and meeting rooms. The facility is wired with the latest technological advancements, including “smart-boards” and high-end computer hardware and software, which will also allow for a research library and conferencing for community-related issues.
The addition will enable Chabad to increase enrollment in its Hebrew school, adult education and teen outreach programs, according to Bryski. New services for senior citizens through the Sunshine Club and children with special needs via the Friendship Circle will also be augmented, he said.
Bryski is particularly proud that people from all walks of life rallied to support the building campaign in spite of difficult economic times. "It is a reflection of the spirit of commitment and self-sacrifice that animates this community that in times such as these, when hardly anybody out there is building, we've been able to move full speed ahead with building a better and brighter future for our children," he said.
The construction was headed by Martin Teitelbaum, a close friend and supporter of the Chabad of the Conejo, who served as a general contractor of the project.
“It is inspiring to see just how beautiful this structure has turned out to be,” said Teitelbaum in a press release. “It is certainly the most personally uplifting and meaningful construction project I’ve been a part of in all of my years in this business.”
The center will be open just in time for the High Holidays—Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur—in September and October. And according to Bryski, the Center for Jewish Living will be a hub of activity and the beginning of future dreams that include a "Phase 2": the addition of a new synagogue and lecture hall building project.
The public is invited to attend Sunday's grand opening festivities, which will get under way at 11 am. For more information, go to the Chabad of the Conejo website.