By COLlive reporter
Photos: Menush Amit/COLlive
A grand celebration was held Sunday at Bais Rivkah, marking a historic groundbreaking for a new Bais Rivkah Seminary Campus to be built in Crown Heights.
Supporters, friends, local residents and students of the school gathered for the event which marks the beginning of what will IYH be a sprawling campus servicing hundreds of girls and bringing pride to the community, and the entire world of Lubavitch at large.
In attendance were Crown Heights Beis Din Rabbis Avrohom Osdoba and Rabbi Yosef Braun, the Rebbe’s Mazkir Rabbi Yehuda Krinsky, Head Shliach to the Pacific Northwest Rabbi Sholom Ber Levitin, Mashpia Rabbi Shloime Zarchi, Rabbi Levi Garelik – Rabbi of Bais Shmuel Chabad, Rabbi Yossi Schildkraut – Shliach in S. Paulo, Brazil, and Rabbi Kalman Weinfeld.
The project, which is estimated at $25 million dollars, has already raised $10 million, thanks to the generosity of the Gorowitz family, the Popack family in honor of Shmuel Isaac and Miriam Popack, the Raitport family, the Kazarnovsky family and the Jacobson family.
“Breaking ground to expand the Rebbe’s school brings to mind the groundbreaking of Campus Chomesh on Lefferts Ave. in 5748,” said Rabbi Avraham Shemtov, Chairman of the Board of Bais Rivkah, who addressed the crowd. “Something special happened then: Though we had already visited the Rebbe earlier in the morning and received the Rebbe’s dollars and brachos, we were amazed to see the Rebbe personally stop by the groundbreaking on his way to the Ohel and hand me $470 towards the building, corresponding to the gematria of Rebbetzin Chaya Mushka’s name.”
Speakers noted how Bais Rivkah, the flagship Chabad girls’ school, was very dear to the Rebbe. “The first time the Rebbe visited the gravesite of Rebbetzin Chaya Mushka after her passing, the Rebbe stopped at what is now Bais Rivkah – Campus Chomesh, which is named after her,” said Rabbi Moshe Pinson.
The program was opened by MC Rabbi Efraim Mintz. Other speakers included Rabbi Yitzchok Raitport, Rabbi Eliezer Shemtov, who made a Siyum HaRambam, Mr. Yosef Kazarnovsky, Rabbi Yosef Chaim Kantor of Thailand, who spoke on behalf of the grateful parents of the school, and Rabbi Moshe Pinson, Bais Rivka’s Director of Development.
Participants watched unique new footage produced especially for the event of the Rebbe’s involvement with Bais Rivkah throughout the years, highlighting the importance and preciousness of this community organization. Additional footage provided a glimpse into the daily goings-on of Bais Rivkah.
A shovel that was used during the groundbreaking of 770 Eastern Parkway in 1988 was then used in the groundbreaking ceremony.
Participating in the ceremony were members of the board: Mr. Mendy Gansburg, Mr. Yerachmiel Jacobson, Mr. Dovid Junik, Mr. Yosef Kazarnovsky, Mr. Yigal Niasoff, Mr. Itchik Orimland and Mr. Dovid Sputz, as well as supporters Rabbi Yitzchok Raitport, Mr. Feivish Pewzner, Mr. Shaya Boymelgreen, Col. Yankel Goldstein, Mr. Beryl Junik, Rabbi Shloimy Greenwald, Mr. Eli Slavin, Mr. Chaim Piekarski, Mr. Mendel Pinson, Mr. Dovid Kugel, Mr. Zalmen Vishedsky, Mr. Binyomin Levin, Mr. Aron Sputz, and Mr. Chaim Drizin.
VIDEO: Full Event Replay