By COLlive reporter
It was Lag Ba’omer night 2010, and a group of bochurim gathered in Crown Heights.
Their good friend Nosson Deitsch obm had tragically passed away that day, at the age of 21.
“Class Shuls” were just becoming a phenomenon at that time, and that night, the friends decided to open one in Nosson’s memory.
Wasting no time, a location was identified on Empire Blvd., and with a generous donation from Advantage Wholesale Supply and others, it was renovated to suit the Shul’s needs.
A year later it was further expanded, with a generous donation from Mr. Yossi and Batsheva Popack and the Sperlin and Wilhelm families.
Rabbi Chaim Yisroel Wilhelm, an educator at Oholei Torah, has led the Shul as Rov since the beginning.
At the time of its founding, its members were young Bochurim just returning from Shlichus. Over time, those young men got married, and a small Ezras Noshim was established, as the Shul continued to grow.
More time passed, and as children were born to the Nosson’s Shul community, the Ezras Nashim attendance dwindled as the mother’s stayed home with their children. But soon, the Shul was bursting again, as the children themselves began attending Shul, and a children’s program was launched.
Today, 35-50 members Daven at the Shul on a typical Shabbos, but there are usually over 100 people in attendance, including children. The Shul has become a warm community for the members, who enjoy Shiurim, programs for auspicious days, children’s events and more.
“We aren’t a Shul that caters to any specific style person. It was founded by a group of friends, so by its nature, it includes all kinds of people,” a Shul member told COLlive about its appeal to many young families in the neighborhood. “Our weekly Kiddush is very heimish – any person there will feel free to share his thoughts.”
With the Shul continuing to grow, they soon realized they must expand to a larger premises.
They have found a property in South Crown Heights, on Brooklyn and Midwood, which they plan to purchase to build a new, large Shul and center to serve the community.
The property is large enough to allow space for children’s programs inside the Shul and for older kids outside.
The Shul enjoys support from its own members, whose places of employment sponsor the weekly Kiddush and programs.
“We have members who work at the Marketplace, Izzy’s steakhouse, Holsesome bagels, Kol save, Itche’s Gourmet and Flaum’s, amongst others,” the Shul members explains. “Everyone pitches in to make the Kiddush happen. It’s been really amazing to see different people step up to the plate in different ways over time.”
The Shul members have now also stepped up to the fundraising plate as well, as the Shul is holding a Charidy campaign this week to raise the funds to purchase the new property.
“People on the ‘quieter side,’ whom you wouldn’t expect to be involved, are participating strongly. People who you wouldn’t expect to see major money from are contributing substantial amounts,” the Shul member said.
The Shul was closed through the pandemic, and reopened for in-person minyanim Shavuos time of last year.
In fact, on the very weekend before Crown Heights shut down, Nosson’s Shul held a meeting to plan its 10th anniversary dinner, which was later moved to Zoom.
After the formal portion of the dinner ended, the zoom meeting evolved into a Farbrengen into the early hours of the morning.
At that Farbrengen, held on Lag Ba’omer, Mendy Wilhelm, the Shul president, made a Hachlatah to put in the effort to find a building within the year.
Rabbi Y. Y. Jacobson was there, and commented that he’s putting his trust in Mendy that he’ll be able to pull it off.
A year later, on Lag Ba’omer, it was announced that a new building was found and would be purchased for the Shul.
“On the night that Nosson passed away, we were all devastated, so we all came up with different ideas to honor his memory,” said Mendy Wilhelm. “These included opening a Shul and writing a Sefer Torah. We opened a Shul, and with time it became successful enough that we commissioned a Sefer Torah for it as well. We hope that this new, larger building will be a fitting tribute to Nosson’s memory which will benefit the community for years to come.”
Nosson’s Shul is raising $500K to fund their new state-of-the-art Shul and community center, to be named in memory of Nosson Deitsch obm.
They are raising $500,000 for the downpayment to make this dream a reality. Click here to donate now!
Our Shuls – profiles of the shuls of Crown Heights on COLlive.com:
Aliya Shul on E. New York Avenue
Itchke’s Shteibel – Maple St. Shul
91st Street Shul – Cong. Bais Avrohom Yitzchok on East 91 Street
Merkaz Sefarad on Crown Street
Hechal Baal Shem Tov on East NY Ave
Bais Shmuel on Eastern Parkway
Anshei Lubavitch on Albany Ave
Beis Midrash Eliyahu Nachum (Lefferts Shul)
The Mitzvah Center on Troy Ave
It keeps being said that it will be a community center as well – can we hear more pls!