by Mendy Rimler, lubavitch.com and COLlive.com
Some 450 supporters celebrated the inauguration of the Lori Schottenstein Chabad Center of Columbus in New Albany, Ohio last Thursday.
The $5 million, 11 acre complex includes a synagogue, classrooms for Chabad Hebrew School and Life Town, an indoor city where special needs children practice basic life skills through role play.
Today, Jewish life is flourishing in this quaint, mid-American village: fifty children visit Life Town every day, thirty-six children attend Hebrew School and more than eighty people attend weekly Jewish classes and services.
“In a society where much emphasis is placed on the physical, the Chabad house teaches us to concentrate on soul,” said Rabbi Aryeh Kaltmann, director of Chabad in Columbus.
“For us, the greatest victory for the Jewish people is when we see a child craft a shofar in Hebrew school, that’s how we reclaim our heritage.”
According to Lori Schottenstein, her largesse is an expression of giving to the Jewish community by simply sharing one’s gifts with others.
“Legacy isn’t about what I want,” Schottenstein said. “Legacy is about what the community needs and how we use what’s inherent and unique within each of us to help strengthen our community.”
Green building consultant Danny Rosen assisted Rabbi Kaltmann in the fourteen year building project by helping him obtain permits for the building.
Rosen emceed Thursday’s event, where he spoke about the “incredible journey, from concept, to approval of the building, the construction and the final, awe inspiring project.”
“The Kaltmanns had total faith from the very beginning, throughout all the hurdles and obstacles,” Rosen said at the dinner.
“They never doubted that they would get it done. This is a celebration of the accomplishments of Chabad in Columbus.”
A guest speaker at the dinner was Rabbi Moshe Kotlarsky, Vice Chairman of Merkos L’inyonei Chinuch, the educational arm of Chabad-Lubavitch.