By Mendel Mintz
Seven years ago, when the idea of a tent outside 770 began to take shape, many eyebrows were raised. “Why are you setting up a tent?” “Closing Eastern Parkway for an entire month?” “What’s wrong with the way things have always been?” Questions and skepticism were endless.
To many, I seemed audacious, perhaps even a touch crazy. The very idea of altering a revered tradition appeared audacious. But the need was clear – with 770 swelling with people every Tishrei, the call for more space was urgent.
Fast forward to the present, and it’s hard to imagine Tishrei without this expansive tent. From an idea that many considered far-fetched, the tent has now become an intrinsic part of the Tishrei experience.
Amidst the sea of doubters, a particular encounter stands out. A Crown Heights resident approached me, expressing his desire to contribute a sizable amount towards the initiative. I recall being taken aback, he wasn’t a notable figure or a wealthy donor, but an ordinary resident of Crown Heights.
Seeing my surprise, He explained how the Shalash, (the initial portion of today’s grand 770 shul) also started as a mere tent. “I want to be part of history,” he told me.
Today, as we stand proud before our 250-foot state-of-the-art glass structure, equipped with a 70-ton air conditioning system, it’s a real testament of the growth of Lubavitch.
Yet, with this monumental growth comes substantial financial challenges. Our budget is now over $150K.
This dream, this vision can’t be sustained without your support. As we reflect on the journey so far and gear up for the future, I humbly ask for your partnership. Let’s ensure that this Tishrei tent continues to be a beacon of Achdus and growth.
Wishing you a Gmar Chasima Tova, and a year filled with Brachos. Together, let’s continue to make the Rebbe proud and write the next chapter in the illustrious story of 770.