On Sunday, June 12, 2011 Chabad of Poway celebrated its 25th anniversary with a gala dinner and auction attended by over 300 members of the San Diego Jewish community.
Chabad of Poway was established in 1986 by Rabbi Yisroel and Devorie Goldstein under the guidance of Rabbi Yonah Fradkin and the leadership of West Coast director Rabbi Shlomo Cunin.
In his remarks, saluting Rabbi Yisroel and Devorie Goldstein and Chabad of Poway for its silver 25th anniversary celebration, Rabbi Yonah Fradkin reminisced how Rabbi Goldstein began in San Diego as a counselor in the Gan Israel Summer Camp in 1982, and shortly thereafter became part of the Chabad staff.
Founders of Chabad of Poway, Dr. Ray and Kim Poliakoff were honored with the Hamotzie. It was Dr. Poliakoff who contacted Rabbi Fradkin in the summer of 1984, begging to establish a Chabad center in the Rancho Bernardo/Poway communities. Rabbi Goldstein was a Bochur at the time, who received direction and a blessing from the Rebbe to become the shliach and the Rabbi of the community, which first began with high holiday services and holiday programs.
In 1986, after their marriage, the Goldsteins began their Shlichus right away, beginning in a storefront at the Rancho Bernardo shopping center. Shortly afterwards the community acquired 1 acre of land, moving in with modular trailers, opening a preschool, followed by a senior center in 1990.
In 1996 the community broke ground to build a Chabad community Center, and in 1997 Chabad of Poway moved into the new 20,000 sq. ft. building, housing a sanctuary which seats up to 770 people, a preschool with five classrooms, an afternoon Hebrew school, senior center, library, mikvah, Friendship Circle, gift shop and much more.
In 2005, Rabbi Mendy and Bluma Rubenfeld joined the Chabad of Poway staff to run the Hebrew school and children’s programs.
The community said L’chayim with special souvenir 25th anniversary wine glasses, and were grateful to Hashem and the Rebbe for creating such a wonderful successful community.