Twenty-five years ago, in 1992, with the blessings and guidance of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, OBM, Rabbi Levi and Sorah Shemtov were offered the privilege of serving the spiritual needs of the Riverdale Jewish community and the borough of the Bronx. At that time, Jewish day schools, organizations, and synagogues addressed the needs of the affiliated Jewish community. However, the uncommitted and under-affiliated were largely ignored; thousands of unaffiliated Jews, many living here for decades, were in urgent need of outreach, education, and community services.
Upon arrival, Rabbi Levi and Sorah instantly filled this void, infusing the community with the vibrant programming and Jewish spirit that have become synonymous with Chabad’s vital reputation worldwide. The dynamic couple established a Chabad house, initiated educational outreach and community services, created a Chabad Early Learning Center, and innovated youth programs and workshops centered round Shabbat and the Jewish holidays.
Their adult education programs, too, have guided over 650 adults to become better parents, to build enduring relationships, and to find deeper meaning and purpose in their lives.
Through these and other programs, Chabad of Riverdale has not only touched the lives of thousands of individuals, from infants to elderly, but also has become a significant force of Jewish awareness, education, and growth in the community at large.
There are currently 45,000 Jews living in the Bronx today. Chabad of Riverdale aims to extend far beyond its current borders and touch many thousands more Jewish lives in its region.