will celebrate its 20th Anniversary with a Gala Dinner on Thursday, April 7, 2011, celebrating 20 wonderful years in this amazing community. The dinner, which will include a cocktail hour, ribbon cutting ceremony and a sit down dinner, will take place in Chabad’s brand new gymnasium, the Adam Katz Athletic Center, which is being completed on time for the event.
Rabbi Shalom and Sara Paltiel first moved to Port Washington in 1991 with their newborn son, Ephraim. They received the blessing and encouragement from the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson of blessed memory, who instructed them to move to Port Washington and assured them they would be blessed with success.
What began in 1991 in a garden apartment at 92 Shore Road, moved in 1992 to a small office building at 10 Maple Street where Chabad occupied the first floor of the building. In 1995 the organization expanded to occupy the entire 5000 sf facility. Then, in 1999, they purchased the old Romaine Pierson Publishers building at 80 Shore Road. Phase I of renovation included 15,000 sf of space including the Sanctuary, social hall, offices, library and 7 classrooms. Then, in 2005 a second phase of renovation took place which renovated the remaining 8,000 sf of the original structure, including a state of the art modern Mikvah, small gym, and 6 additional classrooms.
Phase III is the current full high school-size gymnasium to be known as the Adam Katz Athletic Center. Named for Chabad’s President and the generous patron of this project, the gymnasium will feature basketball and volleyball facilities, locker rooms and office space.
Chabad has plans to make the gym available to the larger community, in addition to its own membership and students. “This community has been very good to us”, said Rabbi Paltiel. “Our supporters come from every segment of the local Jewish community as well as the larger community. This gym will give Chabad an opportunity to give back to the community which has been so gracious and supportive of us for the past 20 year.”
A second floor of the facility is currently undeveloped, to be used for future expansion.
An additional project underway, scheduled for completion late Spring, is an indoor preschool gym to be called Florence’s Mini Israel, named for Florence Brownstein of blessed memory, for whom Chabad’s was named 19 years ago. The mini-Israel indoor playground is an immersive, multi-sensory experience of fun for preschoolers and young children. It will include a traditional ‘Shouk’ (marketplace), an archaeological site, a camel sitting by a water well and the hills of an ancient Judean city. Plus, our very own recreation of the Kotel, the Western Wall, a live video feed from the Kotel, a puppet theater, and a cozy “cafe and pizza shop”.