Artist's conception of new Chabad Learning Center

Groundbreaking News for Chabad of Boulder County

Groundbreaking Ceremony for New Jewish Education Center Scheduled for March 2

Artist's conception of new Chabad Learning Center
Artist’s conception of new Chabad Jewish Learning Center

While we all know that the great flood of 2013 began in September, not everyone might remember that it started on Erev Yom Kippur. As Jews all over prepared to observe the most solemn holiday of the year, the heavens opened and a flood that was referred to many times as “of biblical proportions” commenced, dumping in five short days as much rain as had fallen in the past 12 months and causing billions of dollars’ worth of damage and incalculable amounts of tzuris.

During the time after the rain stopped, many religious and secular groups rallied to offer support ranging from writing checks to delivering food to shoveling out the muck and debris the flood waters deposited in basements and living rooms across Boulder County.

Now that the waters have receded and most of the heavy lifting is behind us, the time has come to look at long-term plans for healing and rebirth.

Prior to the storm, Rabbi and Chany Scheiner and Chabad/Lubovitch of Boulder County had been talking about building on the land they own at the corner of Jay Road and 28th Street in North Boulder. After the storm, they determined that the Jewish Educational Center they’d been dreaming of needed to be built immediately so that it might serve as a statement of spiritual resilience and triumph over adversity – and that it should open on the first anniversary of the start of the 2013 floods.

Anyone who has ever had anything repaired or constructed knows that building an entire building from the ground up in under a year is a major undertaking, and anyone who has tried to construct or repair anything since the flood knows that the many requests on the skilled tradespeople in the area has increased the degree of difficulty at least ten-fold. However, the architect has been hired (Pradnell Builders), the plans have been approved, and the town has given its blessing to begin construction, so everything is in readiness for the attainment of this grand and difficult goal.

According to Rabbi Scheiner:

The primary work of Chabad has been to build a strong Jewish identity for all segments of the Jewish community. With that in mind, we’ve created a rich and broad range of innovative educational programming, designed to engage even the most disengaged Jew, thus assuring that the next generation and those to follow have a firm foundation of Jewish tradition on which to stand, and it is in the spirit of this commitment that the building is being constructed.”

The plans for this new structure include multiple uses including but not limited to:

  • A synagogue in which to hold services, holiday parties, educational courses, and other gatherings
  • A Jewish Children’s Museum with space for interactive exhibits including hands-on holiday events such as a dreidel house for Chanukah, matzo making for Pesach, shofar making for the High Holy Days, and more as an ever-changing educational experience.
  • A Children’s Library (as part of the Museum space) that will be filled with books that bring the joy of Jewish tradition and history alive.
  • A Commercial Kosher Kitchen and Event Hall to ensure easy access to delicious kosher food for community and private events.

On Sunday afternoon, March 2nd, from 2:00 to 4:00 pm Chabad of Boulder is hosting a party to honor the breaking of ground on this exciting new project, and you are invited to join the celebration.

According to the preliminary plans, there will be speakers of erudition and renown. There will be jugglers. There will be learned rabbis from near and far to bless the venture and its participants. There will be live music by Yossi Cohen – who is coming all the way from New York to be part of this event. There will be food and drink, glatt kosher of course. There will be local politicians and community luminaries. There will be laughter and celebration. Will you be there?

WHAT: Groundbreaking for Chabad of Boulder’s new Jewish Education Center
WHEN: Sunday, March 2, 2014, from 2:00 to 4:00 pm (actual groundbreaking ceremony scheduled for 2:45 pm)
WHERE: 2810 Jay Road (at the corner of Jay and 28th)
RSVP: None – just show up prepared to celebrate
For more information: Keep an eye on the website ( or email


About Lisa Napell Dicksteen

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