As Yom Kippur, one of the most important holidays of the Jewish year, begins at sundown on Sunday , the Chabad Jewish Center of Idaho will officially open at its new Boise location.
"Last year, we needed to rent space at a local hotel to hold the Yom Kippur services. Thankfully, this year we are able to move into our new, spacious location in time for the holiest day on the Jewish calendar," Rabbi Mendel Lifshitz said.
"As we settle into our new home, we plan on many new programs, from adult education classes to an expanded Hebrew School program for children," Lifshitz said. "The new facility will allow us to further our popular Living Legacy program, a hands-on program that brings Judaism to life through projects such as the Shofar Factory and the Matzah Bakery."
Lifshitz received his rabbinic ordination in Israel and in New York in 1999. He served as associate rabbi at the Shul of Bal Harbour in Florida before moving to Idaho in 2004 to establish Chabad Lubavitch of Idaho and the Chabad Jewish Center.
Rabbi Mendel and Esther Lifshitz serve as Shluchim, emissaries, of the international Chabad Lubavitch movement, a traditional Jewish organization with more than 3,000 centers worldwide.
Esther Lifshitz has degrees in early childhood education and Jewish culture and has been teaching Jewish studies for seven years.
The center, operated by Chabad Lubavitch of Idaho, has experienced phenomenal growth in the past couple years, Rabbi Mendel Lifshitz said.
"The Chabad Jewish center is a home away from home for all Jews, regardless of background or affiliation," Lifshitz said.
"It serves not only as a synagogue and religious center, but as an educational, social and cultural center for Judaism. We anticipate this facility will help accommodate the ever-expanding community and be a beacon of light and hope to many," he said.
More than 100 families are involved at the center.
Yom Kipper services are open to the public.
"According to tradition, on the High Holidays the doors of heaven are open and God accepts all prayers -- from anyone," Lifshitz said. "The least we can do is open our doors to the entire community."
Chabad Jewish Center offers Yom Kippur prayer services at 7 p.m. Sunday and 10 a.m. Monday at 8707 W. State St.
Yizkor memorial services will be at noon Monday. Mincha & Ne´ila is at 6 p.m., with Break Fast at 8:08 p.m.
Weekly Shabbat services are at 6 p.m. Fridays and 10 a.m. Saturdays, with a children´s program from 10:30 a.m. to noon Saturday for ages 6 to 12 .
The center offers educational and cultural programs for children and adults, including Kabbalah classes, Hebrew School for children, Kosher Co-op, Lecture Series for adults and Holiday Workshops. For more information, call 853-9200.
Cutline: Rabbi Mendel Lifshitz is shown inside the new space for Chabad Lubavitch of Idaho on West State Street. The group will hold its first service this Sunday, which is also the start of Yom Kippur at sundown.