By COLlive reporter
Rabbi Schneur Oirechman, Director of the Chabad Center in Tallahassee, Florida, has finally been allowed access to the destroyed Center following a devastating fire that raged through the building on Motzei Shabbos.
The Shliach in Tallahassee for the past 23 years along with his wife, Chanie, says the devastation that he is facing is shocking and tragic, bringing him to tears.
The Moris and Lillian Tabacinic Chabad Center, which serves as a center for Jewish life for hundreds of students and locals for the past decade, has been completely destroyed in the fire. The loss includes the center’s kitchen, a Judaic library, and decades of Rabbi Oirechman’s handwritten notes of Torah classes, which he has been using for teaching for many years.
Seeing the damage, which has been assessed at nearly $2 million, is devastating, however the most tragic of all is the 2 precious Sifrei Torah, which will soon be buried, Rabbi Oirechman said.
The Chabad Center has served as a center for Jewish life for the last decade, and “had become a beacon of light, full of the beauty and joy of Jewish life” for so many.
“Thousands of Jewish students and members of our community met one another at Shabbat and holiday services and meals, participated in Torah study, and witnessed acts of kindness that emanated to all areas. Alumni from all over the world who have studied at FSU in the past 22 years, as well as current students, are offering support and help,” Rabbi Oirechman said. “Many are telling us they feel their second home has been destroyed.”
The cause of the fire is still unknown, and is under investigation, Rabbi Oirechman said.
“Chanie and I are shocked and overwhelmed by this terrible fire; fortunately, no one was injured. We are also committed to overcoming this tragedy, and with G-d’s help we will yet build a stronger and brighter future out of the ashes,” he said.
An emergency fund has been set up for cleanup, temporary structure/building, utilities, kitchen, synagogue furnishings and books, services and programs, office equipment, staff salaries, etc. Please open your hearts and help Chabad in Tallahassee, recover and rebuild from this devastation. Please give generously and share this information with anyone that can help.