Chabad teaches to care for the spiritual and material needs of all Jews, wherever they could be found. Chabad of Harlem suggest where Jews are heading as gentrification marches.
Perhaps it was only a matter of time.
In a city defined by runaway gentrification — Chabad has come to Harlem.
And the popular outreach group that sniffs out where Jews are migrating next has in recent years gained a foothold in Harlem, another fast-morphing neighborhood shedding its old skin. Continue reading
Posted in Harlem
Tagged Chabad of Harlem, Chabad Serving NYU, fairway, Jeffrey Gurock, Kabbalat Shabbat, Maya Finch, Mushke Gansbourg, Rabbi Shaya Gansbourg, Rabbi Yossel Gansbourg, Shabbat service, Starbucks, The Chabad-Lubavitch movement, The New York Times, west side story, Yeshiva University
On Friday evening before Sabbath services and dinner, Rabbi Shaya Gansbourg dons his best black fedora and long silk coat and sets out chairs and prayer books.
The rich aroma of his wife’s matzo ball soup drifts through the hall, a tempting, olfactory invitation to pray.
The Gansbourgs know their food has to be good if they want to attract a crowd. Not all their congregants strictly keep the Sabbath or kosher, and on Fridays, just a few blocks away, is Amy Ruth‘s soul food restaurant with chicken and waffles.
Gansbourg, a stout man with a silver-streaked beard and a thick Yiddish accent, is the spiritual leader of Chabad of Harlem, a one-room synagogue and community center on the ground floor of 437 Manhattan Ave. at 118th St. that he and his wife, Goldie, opened last year.
The center is the latest and most visible sign of a renewal of Jewish life in the neighborhood. Continue reading