Moldoff went to college, he naturally sought out the school’s Chabad House. In
fact, an active Chabad-Lubavitch center was one of his criteria for applying to
Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster, Pa.
These days, the
sophomore holds a student board position at the Rohr Chabad Jewish Center
directed by Rabbi Elazar and Shira Green. It’s a leadership role that lets him
watch the construction of the center’s new building up close.
that the new center’s main room is in decent shape, but there’s still a ways to
go to convert the building’s shell into a multipurpose space that can host
everything from a Harry Potter-themed Sabbath dinner to Torah classes, holiday
celebrations, and inspiring lectures.
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Right now, the
Greens do it all from their house, packing in scores of students every week for
meals and classes.
“It’s very nice
and homey now, but it’ll be nice to have more space to grow in the future,” says
Moldoff, adding that he looks forward to seeing it become a hangout for
students to connect, study and enjoy.
building, which was purchased with the help of the Rohr Family Foundation,
Franklin and Marshall alumni and students’ parents, needs extensive structural
repairs, so the Greens have turned to the nearby Lancaster Yeshiva Center for
looking for a project to do and we have a project to be done, so it’s a win-win
situation,” says the rabbi. “They’re learning the trade of commercial
construction on our Chabad House.”
Green knows the
yeshiva students and budding contractors well. When he moved to this corner of Central
Pennsylvania 10 years ago, he was instrumental in setting up the program, which
involved a half-day of commercial construction training and a half day of
learning Torah. He went on to focus on the Chabad House activities fulltime,
but relishes getting to work with the program again.
energy and enthusiasm being put into the building,” he says. “I think it’s a unique
situation where yeshiva students are literally building a Jewish institution.
It also provides tremendous value for philanthropic dollars: Every
dollar donated helps build the center as well as train yeshiva students in
whose daughters Ruth and Gabriella have been part of the Chabad House’s evolution
as students, watched and helped the Greens build the Chabad student community
from scratch, establishing a beacon for Jewish life in the area. Even though
both of the daughters have graduated – Ruth is now in law school and Gabriella
finished in May 2011 – Weiner continues to support the Chabad House because of
the important work it does.
A student from the Lancaster Yeshiva Center works on remodeling the new home of the Rohr Chabad Jewish Center serving Franklin and Marhsall College.
“We want to
nurture our Jewish values,” he says, calling the Greens’ work “critical” to both
the memory of the Jewish past and in supplying a bright Jewish future. “We
don’t want our kids to forget where they came from.”
who serves on the board of directors, says he and his family treasure the
Greens. A member of a nearby synagogue who studies with Elazar Green, he
considers the rabbi both a neighbor and a friend.
“They’ve had a
very positive impact on the community,” says Feldman.
He calls the
expansion a necessary project for students.
a gathering place for the students at Franklin and Marshall, a place where they
can go and socialize with other Jewish students,” he says. “The Greens are very
welcoming to guests, but there’s a limit to what they can do in their home.
This can be a dedicated building for the use of the students and the
about the opening date for the new center, Green responds with a smile.
“Thank G‑d, we
have made significant progress, but we still have a ways to go,” he says. “We
hope to be open for the next semester, but in this economy, it may take longer
to finish the project.”