More than 1,000 locals flocked to the dedication of a new synagogue in Eilat, Israel’s southern-most city and a popular resort on the Red Sea.

Run by Chabad-Lubavitch Rabbi Levi and Batya Hecht, the new synagogue in Eilat’s Shakhmon neighborhood drew several VIPs, including Israeli Chief Rabbi Yonah Metzger, Religious Services Minister Ya’akov Margi and Meir Yitzchak Halevi, all of whom took part in filling in the last letters of the Torah scroll that will be used by the congregation.

Chabad of Eilat director Rabbi Mendi Klein emceed the event, while the city’s Chief Rabbi Yossi Hecht, who arrived in the city in 1977, reflected on the changes that have taken place in the scenic port. In his speech, Hecht thanked Ezra Marcos of the Edmond J. Safra Philanthropic Foundation for enthusiastically supporting the establishment of the new synagogue.