Chabad-Lubavitch of Western Monmouth County is expanding; the next location for the Jewish outreach movement will be the new Chabad Jewish Center to serve the students of Brookdale Community College, Lincroft, and the neighboring community.
“I’ve met a lot of Jewish students at Brookdale Community College and found that nothing is organized for them,” said Rabbi Shmaya Galperin, who recently moved with his young family from Brooklyn, N.Y., to the Holmdel-Lincroft border. “There is downtime between classes and we want to offer Lunch and Learn programs, Shabbatons, and holiday and festival celebrations.”
Although the rabbi was born in South Africa, moved to Chicago, and received his rabbinical training in Montreal and Morristown, Monmouth County is a familiar place. In 2005 and 2006, he studied at Chabad’s Bais Menachem Yeshiva in Manalapan, under the direction of Rabbi Levi Schapiro.
“I felt that this community was warm, vibrant, thriving and very welcoming,” Galperin recalled. “I wanted to find a place nearby where we could fill a void and become established.”
The rabbi formed close ties with many local residents, but left Manalapan when he became engaged to his wife, Rochi. The couple now has two children: an 18-month-old son, Mendel; and a 4-month-old daughter, Leah.
Although Rochi Galperin was born and raised in Brooklyn, she also has fond memories of Monmouth County. Her mother grew up in Asbury Park, where her grandparents still reside. Still, the move to Holmdel has required some adjustment.
“It’s been a change, but it’s a change we wanted,” she explained. “It’s nicer for the children here. They have lots of space and many children to play with.”
While the couple’s focus will be on the students at Brookdale Community College, they said they want to serve the needs of the surrounding community as well. They plan to be available to help anyone who needs advice, ranging from Jewish ritual and life cycle events to recipes for traditional holiday dishes. Their home will be open to students and their families.
Rabbi Galperin and Mrs. Galperin can be reached at 732-772-1998 or [email protected] gmail.com