Philanthropists David and Rhoda Chase were the well-deserved recipients of the Anti-Defamation League’s 2009 Greater Hartford Torch of Liberty award.
In a profile article in The Jewish Ledger, their connection with the Rebbe and Chabad came to light, once more.
Cindy Mindell writes:
The Chases were among the original founders of the Rabbinical College of America, one of the largest Chabad Lubavitch yeshivas in the world, located in Morristown, N.J. While serving as its chairman in the early ’70s, David was introduced to Rebbe Menachem Schneerson, with whom he developed a close relationship.
“David saw the Rebbe as the ultimate leader of Jewish life in the world,” says Rabbi Yosef Gopin of Chabad House of Greater Hartford. “He saw the perpetuity of Judaism in Chabad house, and saw the joy and the pride with which Chabad presents Judaism.”
Gopin was sent to Hartford by the Rebbe in 1976 to establish a Chabad house, and became fast friends with David Chase, who has helped the organization grow from a small house on Farmington Ave. to vibrant facilities in West Hartford, Simsbury, and Glastonbury.
Earlier this month, Chase helped broker the purchase of a building on Bloomfield Ave., which will become the new Chabad student center at the University of Hartford.
“David has not just been philanthropic and generous with his donations, but also with his attitude,” Gopin says.
“Charity and volunteer involvement are as important as his business. He always has time to meet with me and take my calls. We have had an incredible relationship over the last 33 years, and we are thankful to God for sending David our way and that he found us. We are all very proud of him and appreciative and wish him success and health. May God bless him with long years, nachas from his family, and success in all the efforts he supports.”