On Monday, September 9th, Jewish teenagers joined with guests and lay leaders in the dedication ceremony of the Chai Cafe, a project of the Chai Center led by Rabbis Yossi Kessler and Naftali Perlstein.
The Cafe, in existence for many years, has recently undergone a face-lift thanks to the generosity of philanthropist Irwin Beutel and will henceforth bear his name.
Rabbi Dovid Perlstein, director of the cafe, explains the important role the cafe plays in the lives of hundreds of Montreal Jewish teenagers and young adults: “Rather than filling their spare time by roaming the streets and frequenting the bars of downtown Montreal, the Chai Cafe is a fun place for them to enjoy entertainment, do their homework or simply hang-out in a wholesome, inviting Jewish environment.”
The timing of the event, which takes place between Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur, is particularly significant, says Benjamin Haziza, associate director of the cafe : “The High Holiday period is one of renewed commitment to Jewish value and continuity. Irwin’s generosity in refurbishing the Chai Cafe has generated new excitement among its young patrons and is sure to attract even more young people through its doors.”
“I am very proud to lend my support to the Chai center in this worthy project. Fostering Jewish identity among our youth is a high priority for all of us. The Chai Cafe does a fantastic job and I commend them for their outstanding work,” says Mr. Beutel.