It was called a Chanukah miracle for modern times when the long-awaited renovation of Chabad and Friends of Refugees of Eastern Europe (F.R.E.E.) of Niles, Ill., was completed this month.

After 10 years of painstaking fundraising and planning among immigrants from the former Soviet Union, the building was given a fresh facelift and expansion to accommodate the growing community that frequents the center for Shabbat services, festivals and special events. Just as Chanukah celebrated the rededication of the Holy Temple so many thousands of years ago, in 2012 the Chanukah miracle in Niles was in the same spirit, say community residents.

Despite struggling through economic difficulties, the center’s renovation was made possible through generous donations, many anonymous, from individuals who originate from the former Soviet Union and have become part of the local community. Notably, even service providers, such as the architect and contractor, donated their time to help complete the $500,000 project.

“This community was behind us when we came to this country,” architect Vlad Radutny, originally from Ukraine, told the Niles Daily Herald.

As the community stepped in to help the dream become a reality, Chabad-Lubavitch rabbis Eliezer Hershkovich and Binyomin Scheiman agreed that the center now truly reflects the community who helped build it.

“In these hard economic times, to build a center is truly a miracle,” said Hershkovich.