Chabad of Summerlin Celebrates Grand Opening of $4.5 million building

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With many thanks to Hashem, almost 500 people from the Las Vegas, Nevada area helped Chabad of Summerlin/Desert Shores celebrate the Grand Opening of their new shul on Sunday, June 4, 2006. The beautiful $4.5 million building houses a sanctuary, offices, kitchen, and social hall downstairs, while the upstairs boasts a women’s balcony, classrooms, and adult and children’s libraries. The grounds include a gated yard and a sukkah plaza. A mikvah with three preparation rooms, and a separate keilim mikvah, completes the facility.

Everyone was in a joyous mood despite the 110° temperature as the festivities began with ribbon-cutting ceremonies outside. The crowd included many rabbis from congregations throughout the city, as well as a number of local dignitaries, supporters of Chabad, and other well-wishers. After the ribbon-cutting, the children were entertained in the yard by costumed characters and a bounce house while the adults moved to seats inside. All was still as the bracha for the sanctuary mezuzah was recited; then everyone burst out with a resounding “Amen!” A power outage caused by a nearby traffic accident had some wondering whether the celebration would be able to continue, but electricity was miraculously restored just as Rabbi Yisroel Schanowitz was thanking the major donors instrumental to bringing about the building project. US Congresswoman Shelley Berkeley addressed the gathering, speaking about the many positive personal experiences she has had with Chabad, as well as the good work done by Chabad in the community. A 93 year old congregant entertained the group with his moving rendition of “Oseh Shalom,” triggering thunderous applause from the attendees.

After the formal program, the community was invited to stay for delicious refreshments and informal tours of the building. Many commented on the stunning Jerusalem Stone walls and the beautiful woodwork of the Aron Kodesh. Displays in the upstairs classrooms highlighted the mivtzoim campaigns of chinuch, pushka, neshek, mezuzah and tefillin. Shabbos candles, Chabad of Summerlin pushkas, and “mitzvah” balloons were available for the guests to take home.

Everyone in attendance agreed that it was an occasion beyond compare. With Hashem’s help, this milestone will be only one of many to help establish a stronger bond of identity and awareness throughout the Las Vegas Jewish community.