By Reuven Arazi
History comes to Hallandale Beach on September 6th as the day features the dedication of 3 Mikvahs accessible to the physically challenged and to the entire South Florida Community.
It is the first Mikvah project of this nature in Florida with special ramps, prep rooms for the physically challenged, and hydraulic lifts, that will make the Mikvah experience pleasant and dignified for a large segment of South Florida’s Jewish population.
“Until now, people with disabilities either endured extreme hardships when using a Mikvah, or stopped fulfilling this ancient Mitzvah due to the inconvenience and humiliation” said Rabbi Raphael Tennenhaus, Chabad’s executive vice president, who spearheaded this project several years ago and looks forward to the dedication of the Mikvahs, the first Mikvahs to be built in Hallandale Beach.
The Mikvah Dedications will take place at the 28th Annual Dinner of Chabad of South Broward, at the Headquarters of Chabad of South Broward, located at 1295 E Hallandale Bch Blvd.
Besides the Mikvahs, Chabad of South Broward is home to Congregation Levi Yitzchok- Lubavitch, Broward’s first Chabad Synagogue, the Hallandale Hebrew School, the Chai Tots Preschool, the Chaya Aydel Seminary, the summer and winter Camp Gan Israel, and the Kollel for Businessmen and Professionals.
Chabad’s Headquarters is host to over forty programs, including the Bar and Bat Mitzvah clubs, the world’s largest Chanukah Festival and Project PRIDE, a countywide drug and education program supported by the Sheriff’s Office and the City of Hollywood. Chabad of South Broward, leaders in Jewish education, outreach and social services for nearly thirty years, oversees ten Chabad Centers in ten Broward cities.
Honorary Chairmen of the Dinner are Al Lamberti, the Sheriff of Broward County, and Nicki Grossman, the President of the Greater Ft Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau.
According to Grossman, “our destination is looking for new sources of business to bring visitors to Greater Fort Lauderdale. Your Mikvahs will certainly create quite a buzz, both in the media, and in the number of faithful who will greatly benefit from them. Travelers who are physically challenged will have a particular interest in the construction and availability of the Mikvahs.”
Cocktails will start at 5PM. Mikvah Dedications will take place at 5:45PM.
Dinner will begin at 6PM. Black Tie is optional. There will be complimentary valet parking available. There will be no appeal at the Dinner. Admission is $150 per person. Gala entertainment and a 9PM ending of the Dinner, has made the Chabad Annual Dinner a tradition that no one wants to miss.
The general Mikvah Project will be called Mei Menachem-Mikvah Israel, dedicated in honor of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M Schneerson, may his merit protect us, and in memory of Rabbi Yisroel Tennenhaus, brother of Rabbi Raphael, who passed away earlier this year after a lengthy illness that left him immobile for over seven years.
The Women’s Mikvah will be called the Elana Leah Women’s Mikvah, being dedicated in honor of the complete and speedy recovery of Elana Kasle, a student of the Chaya Aydel Seminary who was seriously injured on December 23, 2007, by a car on Hallandale Beach Blvd.
Elana was returning with her friends from purchasing supplies for the winter Camp Gan Israel. She is presently in a rehab center in her hometown of Oak Park, Michigan, and still needs everyone’s prayers. Her full name is Elana Leah the daughter of Shaindel Rochel.
The Men’s Mikvah will be named the Yoseph Mordechai Men’s Mikvah. It is being dedicated in memory of Reb Yoseph Fellig, father of Rebbetzin Goldie Tennenhaus. Mr Fellig taught for a number of years at Chabad’s Free Hebrew for Juniors, in the Southwest Broward cities of Davie and Pembroke Pines. Rebbetzin Tennenhaus has been most instrumental in turning this huge Mikvah Project from a dream into reality.
Total cost of the Mikvah Project is $810,000. Chabad is short $355,000 in construction costs for these three Mikvahs.
The Mikvahs are breathtaking and state of the art. “No corners were cut in creating Mikvahs so beautiful that brides who plan on using a Mikvah only once before their wedding, will be convinced to return every month,” said Hope Kaller, Interior Decorator of the Mikvahs.
Dinner Co-Chairs are Dr Barry Alter, past president of the Jewish Federation of Broward County, Mr Bernie Friedman, past president of the Posnack JCC, and partner in the Becker and Poliakoff Law Firm, and Mr Steve Kerzer, past recipient of the Rebbe’s Ambassador Award.
Dr Alter has dedicated a Prep-Room for the Physically Challenged and a Hydraulic Lift for the complete and speedy recovery of his wife, Mrs Franne Alter. Franne’s full name is Tzipora bas Charlotte, and is in need of everyone’s prayers. Dinner Honorees are Mr and Mrs Michael and Betty Brener, who will receive the Young Leadership Award, Mrs Shaindel Kasle, Elana’s mother, this year’s Eishes Chayil- Woman of Valor, Mr and Mrs Hyman and Beatrice Kriss, who will accept the Beauty of Seniors Award, and Mr and Mrs Boris and Rochelle Wainstock, recipients of the Ahavas Yisroel Award.
To donate to the Florida Mikvahs Accessible to the Physically Challenged, to participate in Chabad’s 28th Annual Dinner, and to place an ad in the Dinner Journal, please call 954-458-1877, email [email protected] or log on to Chabadsouthbroward.com.