Aug. 27 “Coming Home” ceremony marked Jewish tradition, unity, gratitude

Photo courtesy Rabbi Mendel Liberow
Rabbi Mendel Liberow transports the Torah to its new home.

By Staff Report

In front of more than 200 jubilant participants, a momentous celebration unfolded for the South Valley Jewish community Sunday, Aug. 27, with the dedication of an eagerly-anticipated new home.

The grand opening of the Chabad Jewish Center of South County marked a major milestone for the local Jewish community. Located at 16430 Monterey Rd., it provides a permanent home where all Jews can gather regardless of affiliation or background, said Rabbi Mendel Liberow, director of the center.

Named “Coming Home,” the occasion was a joyous celebration of tradition, unity, and gratitude, he said.

“The event was testimony to the growth of the Jewish community as young and old gathered in an unprecedented display of pride and unity,” he said.

Liberow opened the festivities by welcoming everyone and emphasizing Chabad’s mission to embrace all.

“Everyone belongs, and everyone should be embraced and loved for who they are,” he said. “Chabad is here for every person, regardless of their background or affiliation.”

The outside area in front of the building came alive with traditional dances and jubilant singing as the Torah scroll, symbolizing the heart and soul of Judaism, was carried with reverence to its new home.

The celebration included a cocktail reception, where attendees had the honor of inscribing the final letters into the Torah scroll, special children’s activities and a sit-down catered dinner with a special video presentation and speeches from various community members, dignitaries and others.

The emotional highlight of the program came when community members shared their personal experiences and the transformative role Chabad has played in their lives. Richard Irving, one of the speakers, spoke eloquently about the profound impact Chabad has had on his life by creating a thriving Jewish community.

Deborah and Joshua Padaris recounted their journey of connection. Deborah spoke about the absence of Jewish educational opportunities during her childhood and how Chabad’s offerings have changed the trajectory for her children, Joshua and Brianna, with various meaningful and exciting educational experiences for children.

Morgan Hill Mayor Mark Turner  presented a signed proclamation to the Chabad Jewish Center, recognizing and commending its role in fostering unity, education, and spiritual growth.

Chani Liberow, co-director of the Chabad Jewish Center, took a moment to extend her heartfelt gratitude to the donors and supporters who made this remarkable day possible. “You are here today, not just as witnesses but as active participants in this transformational moment for our community,” she said.

An event highlight was the completion of the Torah scroll, followed by a procession that saw the Torah escorted to its new home within the Chabad Jewish Center’s walls. The singing and dancing visibly moved participants, many of whom had never imagined such a display of Jewish pride in the South Valley, Rabbi Liberow said.

As the scroll settled into its permanent spot in the ark within the center, it symbolized not only a welcoming of the new Torah scroll but a welcoming home, a coming home, for the entire Jewish community, he said.

The new center promises to be a place where Jews of all ages and stages are welcomed to explore their heritage, celebrate special occasions, and mark Jewish holidays and events, he said.

In a world where unity and shared values often feel elusive, the Chabad Jewish Center’s dedication event is a heartwarming reminder of the power of community, Rabbi Liberow said.

“The impact of the event is sure to continue, a testament to the values and ideals that Chabad has so beautifully brought to life,” he said.