By COLlive reporter
The saddest day on the Jewish calendar was particularly mournful for Jewish residents in Hollywood, Florida.
On Tuesday morning, congregants prayed at the Hollywood Community Synagogue – Chabad Lubavitch and recited the kinos lamentations, as customary on the Tisha B’Av fast day.
And then, they packed up the synagogue’s prayer books, furniture and belongings. This was their last day at the one-story building on the 3,912 square foot property at 2215-2221 North 46th Avenue.
After many months of bank negotiations, the institution registered as Hollywood Community & Synagogue Inc. was not able to meet the bank’s demands to clear a debt of $485,000.
With their eviction date set for Wednesday, August 6, the synagogue’s spiritual leader Rabbi Joseph Korf and his congregants said goodbye to the location that helped them grow spiritually and was a second home for many.
The synagogue was founded by Rabbi Korf and his wife Elisheva Korf who have been active in the Jewish community for over 24 years. They opened the center to serve as a beacon of Torah study and a social venue used by hundreds of people.
Mrs. Korf recently resigned from her successful practice as a wig stylist for religious Jewish women in Broward County to become the full-time activity director of the synagogue.
“Every Jewish holiday was brought alive by the Korfs and the Hollywood Community Synagogue,” said Vivian Rivera who was a member with her husband Eddy. “There was always delicious food and fun activities planned.”
On a regular Shabbos, the synagogue is often buzzing throughout the day. It begins with an early morning Chassidus class with Rabbi Korf, continues with services and a Kiddush meals and ends with Maariv and screening the weekly inspirational video “Living Torah.”
“Rabbi’s Korf’s famous farbrengens were passionate and honest,” recounts George Albo, a former Miami-Dade County police officer who today sports a full chassidic beard.
Albo said he’s one of many whom the Korfs helped to reconnect with their Jewish roots and grow in their spiritual journey in life. “They touched the listeners deeply and encourage us to make real shifts in our lives,” he says.