New Shul and Mikvah To Be Built In Miami

This past Sunday a grand celebr​​ation took place in Miami Beach, with the groundbreaking and laying of the cornerstone for the new Shul and Mikvah of Bais Menachem of Miami Beach. It was a long time in coming as the shul had outgrown its current location and an expansion was desperately needed.  

Established in 1989, when the Chabad community in the 41st Street area of Miami Beach had grown sufficiently in size to require its own shul, it was given the name Bais Menachem, founded LeZecher Nishmas R' Yisroel Duchman and R' Eliyahu Akiva Lipskar.  

It carries the distinction as the first shul outside of Kfar Chabad for which the Rebbe himself permitted his name to be used. Since that time the community has grown many times over, as more and more people move to South Florida, and even more come to visit throughout the year.  

The Rebbe once told a Miami resident in yechidus that Miami should be the "Yerushalayim shel chutz l'aretz"—the Jerusalem outside of Israel. Just like people come to Yerushalayim from all over, Miami, too, is a place where people come from all parts of the world. The new state-of-the-art building, which the community hopes will be completed by the High Holy Days, will be a setting for davening, learning, special events, family simchas, community gatherings, and much more. A most important addition to the shul is a new mikva. The mikva, donated by R' Zalman and Shloimie Fellig, will be called Mikvah Yosef Mordechai after their father.  

The groundbreaking was honored by the presence of prominent Roshei Yeshivos and rabbonim from communities in and around Miami. This will be the first shul being built in many years in Miami Beach, which has been a center for Jewish life for so long.  

Serving as master of ceremonies was shul member Dr. Reuven (Roy) Weiss, a prominent physician in Miami. He spoke of the history of Bais Menachem and the importance of this event. Predicting that we will be in our new shul for Rosh Hashanah, we will take the shul with us to Yerushalayim with Moshiach. 

Rabbi Yehuda Leib Schapiro the Rav of Bais Menachem and Rosh Yeshiva of the Yeshiva Gedolah of Greater Miami, shared a Dvar Torah and inspired the crowd with comparing the building of a shul to the building of the Bais Hamikdosh. Head shliach of the State of Florida, Rabbi Abraham Korf, also honored the gathering with words of Torah. Also present on the dais was the Mayor of Miami Beach, Mr. Phillip Levine, and other city commissioners. They presented the shul with a city proclamation in honor of the groundbreaking and congratulated the community on its growth and presence in Miami Beach.

Mr. Avi Shaulson, a prominent member of Bais Menachem, spoke of his family's decision to dedicate Bais Menachem in honor of the Rebbe, the Rebbetzin, the Rebbe's parents and the Rebbe's two brothers.  Yosie Lipskar, a major force behind the building of the new shul, thanked all of those who have helped make this dream a reality. Generous donors Mr. and Mrs. Morris Esformos were honored with a plaque.  

Based on a directive in a letter from the Rebbe, the children were honored with laying down the cornerstone. Many community members used the shovels to break ground. Wonderful entertainment for the children and brunch was enjoyed. Though it was a very rainy day the sun did shine at the time of the event. Everyone left inspired and uplifted. 

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