Chabad to open Leawood satellite in time for holidays
- Created: Thursday, 29 August 2013 17:00
- Written by Barbara Bayer, Editor
Chabad House Center of Kansas City is opening a new satellite location, this one in Leawood. On Monday Rabbi Mendy Wineberg, program director, said Chabad is renting a storefront in Parkway Plaza — located on the north side of 135th Street between Nall and Roe avenues. — at 4800 W. 135th St., Suite 230. The lease for the 2,100 square-feet space was signed on Monday. Chabad should take possession on Sept. 1. That gives them only a few days to prepare for Rosh Hashanah, which is expected to be the first service to take place in the new space.
Rabbi Wineberg said the satellite, to be known as Chabad of Leawood, is in very good shape and won’t need much work to ready it for the High Holidays.
“For now all we have to do is some painting and cosmetic touch ups. Once the holidays are over we’ll look at modifying some of the back area to better fit our diverse needs,” said Rabbi Wineberg, who along with his wife Devory will serve as co-directors of the new location.
(The Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur schedule for Chabad of Leawood may be found on page 19. All other congregations’ holiday schedules are included in the special Rosh Hashanah magazine, expected to be in subscribers’ mailboxes today, Aug. 29.)
Rabbi Wineberg said Chabad is opening this satellite because its mission is to try to reach every Jew as well as to raise Jewish awareness, pride and identity.
“To do that you have to be where the Jews are and the largest concentration of Jews are in that area, south of I-435 going all the way now to 160th and beyond. So we were looking for a place that was somewhat central, which 135th seems to be right in the middle, and we found this to be a perfect location,” Rabbi Wineberg said.
The Chabad rabbi said he has heard from many people in the past that they didn’t go to shul, especially on the High Holidays, because there wasn’t one within convenient walking distance for them.
“This new location is going to give more people the ability to attend services,” he said, noting that there is never a charge to attend services at Chabad.
This satellite location may be new, but Chabad has been testing the viability of a Leawood satellite for the past year or so, holding classes in a rented conference room in the area.
“There were times we had too many people for that conference room,” he said.
Chabad will offer a variety of classes in Leawood including Jewish Learning Institute courses as well as adult education and some services.
“We do a TGI Shabbos in Overland Park and we will do that once a month in Leawood as well,” said Rabbi Wineberg, who expects to build up the number of times per months services are held in Leawood gradually.
Classes and services will continue to be offered at the Overland Park Chabad House.
“We’re not stopping the Overland Park location. We’ve got a great building there and lots of activities going on including the Gan Chabad Preschool,” he said.
In the past two years enrollment has increased to 40 children and last year a $50,000 playground was installed.
This is not the first time Chabad House has been on the move. Established here in 1970, it moved its headquarters from Kansas City, Mo., to the current Overland Park location about 25 years ago. Three other locations under the auspices of Chabad-Lubavitch Headquarters of Kansas and Missouri have opened in the last eight years including Rohr Chabad Center for Jewish Life, more often known simply as KU Chabad, Chabad on the Plaza and Chabad of MU and Mid-Missouri.
“At one point there will be a Chabad at 190th street if that’s where the Jews are. We’re going to be where the Jews are where we can fill the needs,” Rabbi Wineberg said.
The rabbi and his family moved south of I-435 about a year ago as well. On Shabbos and holidays he walks eight miles round trip to the Overland Park shul located at 6201 Indian Creek Drive. He has had a lot of interesting Jewish encounters along the way.
“I inevitably pass by a runner or a walker or a biker or sometimes even someone in a car that wishes me a good Shabbos as we’re walking. It’s just incredible this feeling of connection that you get with other Jewish people … they are wishing us good Shabbos and we’re wishing them a good Shabbos and it’s almost the same as putting up a menorah or anything else to raise awareness to say hey, it’s Shabbos. It’s really been incredible.”