By COLlive reporter
Rabbi Shlomo Cunin, Head Shliach of the U.S. West Coast and Director of Chabad-Lubavitch of California, spend the mournful day of Tisha B’Av in a special and uplifting visit.
On Sunday, Rabbi Cunin traveled 100 miles north of Los Angeles to Bakersfield, a city on the Kern River, where he paid a visit to the Setton-Cohen Chabad Jewish community center, led by Rabbi Shmuli and Esther Malka Schlanger.
The new 5,400 square foot building was inaugurated 2 years ago to serve as the center of Chabad of Bakersfield and host its educational programs, Shabbos and Holiday services, Hebrew School and other events.
This was Rabbi Cunin’s first visit to the center and he was warmly welcomed by Rabbi Schlanger, fellow community members and bochurim there on Merkos Shlichus who were there to commemorate the destruction of Jerusalem.
Rabbi Cunin was shown around the center on a lush 2-acre property and toured the sanctuary of the Shul, social hall, full commercial kitchen, recreation room, educational wing, and the patio used for a Sukkah and outdoor events.
He marveled at the success of the Schlangers who established the local Chabad some 15 years ago out of the basement of their home. They later moved activities to a storefront, before their purchase of a former tennis club to become the location of their center.
During his visit, Rabbi Cunin shared words of inspiration and strength and assisted local men with putting on Tefillin and mentioning the importance of the day as Jews worldwide pray for the redemption.
Rabbi Cunin then turned to one man he assisted and asked, “If you had a pair of Tefillin, would you put it on daily?”
The man answered in the affirmative. Rabbi Cunin then gifted him the pair he was carrying with him, giving the man his blessings.