More than 400 Rockland County residents gathered last Wednesday at a dinner launching Cheder Chabad of Monsey’s $17 million “We, The Builders” campaign. The ambitious project is to build Campus Shnei Ohr on grounds spanning 13 acres slated to open its doors in 2020. Rockland County houses the fastest growing Chabad community in North America today, with blooming communities in Pomona, Spring Valley, Airmont and other neighborhoods. The school is in dire need of a new home with adequate space and facilities to accommodate the more than 1,100 students projected to be enrolled by 5785 - 2025 more than double the current enrollment of 515 children, up from the 18 students enrolled when the Cheder opened in 5759 - 1999. Campus Shnei Ohr will also house the growing local Mesivta. On the campus, children will enjoy sports facilities, sprawling fields, playgrounds, large classrooms and more. The goal is to provide children with every resource and tool to help enhance their Yiddishe, Chassidishe, academic and personal growth. “It is heartwarming to be a part of this incredible initiative,” said Rabbi YY Jacobson, a Cheder Chabad parent and a new member of the Vaad HaChinuch. “Campus Shnei Ohr will enable us to give our children every opportunity to succeed in all areas of their chinuch.”
“The excitement at the dinner was palpable, “said Aliza Abel, mother of four Cheder Chabad children. “There was a strong feeling of unity, as the entire community is coming together to make the dream a reality.” In addition to philanthropists who have undertaken to cover significant portions of the project, everyone in the community is playing a meaningful part with contributions of all sizes. Nachshon Society members have “taken the plunge” and pledged $54,000 towards the campaign, while other parents and supporters have contributed $50-$150 per month towards the three-year campaign. Many community members have joined committees overseeing various portions of the project, including fundraising, building, and a women’s committee. “It’s been unbelievable to see the enthusiasm and eagerness to help from the community,” said Rabbis Tzili Ehrenreich and Yona Abenson, Directors of Philanthropy. “It is a real joint project; people want to know what they can do to help and how to become part of the team.” This passionate energy filled the Woodcliff Lake Hilton Ballroom at the Cheder’s 19th annual dinner. While parents and supporters looked back at numerous achievements, the blueprints and construction-site themed room helped galvanize the crowd to plan ahead. “Everyone needs to pick up an oar!” said Rabbi Mendel Duchman, the dinner emcee. “We can’t watch a few individuals row the boat. Everyone needs to jump in and row. For some, that means giving money, for others it means networking to help connect potential donors with the school for this game-changing opportunity.”
“The Rebbe taught us the importance of proper aesthetics for a school,” said Rabbi Dov Drizin, a Shliach in Woodcliff Lake, NJ, and a Cheder Chabad parent and board member. “Like a work of art that needs the the right frame to shine, the new campus will be the frame to let our children’s neshamos shine.” To find out more about how you can join the campaign, please visit shneiohr.org today.