By COLlive reporter
Kol Yakov Yehuda – the Rebbe’s Diamond Daveners, a congregation for Chabad children in Los Angeles, had its entire interior destroyed in a fire on Monday night.
The Los Angeles Fire Departement said the cause was electrical.
“We are obviously very saddened by this,” said the shul’s founder Mendel Duchman. “But, Boruch Hashem, the main thing is everyone is safe and it didn’t occur (chas Vesholom) while children were present.”
“Unfortunately, the room has been destroyed, as well as the seforim, wall units, furniture, toys, and prizes,” he reported about the program known as “A Shul for the kids by the kids,” located outside Congregation Levi Yitzchok in Hancock Park.
Founded 16 years ago, children daven together and take on leadership roles such as the ‘Junior Rav’ giving a sermon. Other positions that the congregants have a turn at are the ‘President’, ‘Vice President’ and ‘Gabbaim’.
The junior congregation now has 6 groups running simultaneously every Shabbos: Ezras Anoshim – all boys ready to daven with a full-fledged Minyan, Ezras Noshim for girls grades 3-8, Bainany Minyan for boys in grades 1-2, Bainaniya Girls for grades 1-2, Mini Minyan for girls age 2-2nd grade and boys age 2-Pre1A and the Gesher Group: for kids of all abilities and special needs.
The shul has earned a worldwide reputation as a leading program, empowering Chabad children to become Shluchim and leaders. Over half a dozen Chabad communities picked up this formula, including Montreal, Miami Beach, New York and around Southern California.
“Over the next few days, we will be evaluating where the Mini Minyan group can be held this Shabbos morning,” Duchman reported to parents. He said they are looking into putting up a tent, weather permitting.