In January of 2008, Chabad of Tokyo announced that its dream of erecting a new centre for Jewish life for the Jewish residents of Tokyo will become a reality.
A huge push has been initiated to generate the additional funding required for the building campaign.
With the help of a group of generous supporters, Chabad has recently signed to purchase a five-story building in Central Tokyo located in the Shirakana-Takanawa district.
The dream actually began with the arrival of Rabbi Mendel and Chana Sudakevich as Chabad emissaries to Tokyo. Together they founded Chabad of Japan from its humble beginnings in an apartment in Roppongi.
It has since grown to incorporate not only synagogue services but also early childhood programmes, Hebrew School, teen programmes, community outreach activities and an adult education programme.
Along with the success of their innovative programming have come the inevitable challenges of lack of adequate classroom space, overflow crowds at services and community events.
Rabbi Mendel Sudakevich is hopeful that with efforts from the community and a successful building-fund drive, together they can build a limitless future for Jewish life in Tokyo. The overall campaign objective is to raise US$1.5 million, with US$500,000 already pledged.
The newly purchased five-story complex will be renovated to include: a pre-school with outdoor play area, classrooms for Hebrew School, a Shul, a library and cultural centre.
Also planned a restaurant that can accommodate holiday events and simchas, a fully-equipped commercial kitchen, a Judaica shop and a state-of-the-art mikveh.
(Issue March 2008)