From A Strong Foundation, We GROW

Wow, what an amazing “Over the Top” night we had last night! As one community, as one people, as one family we broke the ground for the future.

A special thanks to our honorees: the Salzhauers and the Alexander brothers, for their tremendous commitment to The Shul. Their heart and devotion should be blessed with health, wealth and all thats good!

At 6pm we gathered in the construction themed tent on The Shul Green to enjoy a Smorgasbord dinner and cocktails. At 7pm the program started and we broke ground with the very shovel that was used to break ground at the 770 (Chabad HQs in NY) expansion. At 9pm after the ceremony we then went to the Social Hall to enjoy a deserts extravaganza and dancing.

From strength to strength, GROW! Now, Let’s Get It Done!


The Official Press Release

Room For One More Jew

Miami, FL, Feb 3, 2016: When it comes to making space for one more Jew, The Shul of Bal Harbour’s small army of scholars, thinkers, and doers fall into action. Speaking of tomorrow night’s official groundbreaking for The Shul’s $20 million building upgrade and expansion at 9540 Collins Avenue, spiritual leader, Rabbi Sholom Dov Ber Lipskar said, “We could not anticipate the day we would G-d forbid have to turn someone away from The Shul’s programs. We had to grow the physical space.”

With its promise to every Jew, The Shul’s ability to foresee and prepare in such practical ways is founded on “the good thought” Lipskar received one Shabbat after a personal meeting with the Lubavitcher Rebbe. It’s behind every detail that goes into each of The Shul’s 78 programs for a fulfilled Jewish life that begins as soon as people move into the area.

The good thought—to build community based on Torah principles and values—will now shine from joyous occasions inside The Shul’s new social hall conceptualized and designed by Co-Concept Design Architect Kobi Karp. With its “glow in the dark” glass translucent volume design (40-feet high all-glass walls topped with a glass ceiling), light will float and project north and south along Collins Avenue. In both the literal and figurative sense, from Surfside to Bal Harbour, families will be drawn to the light.

“Symbolism, meaning and Jewish history are embedded in every aspect of the design,” says Karp, who is the only architect to incorporate glass translucent volume design for a public function since Morris Lapidus in 1952 for the Fontainebleau Hotel.

The Shul thrives on bringing Jewish life into the streets where people live. Mothers walk children to pre-school. Fathers study holy books at business meetings. Friends gather at local kosher restaurants. It’s a community young families want to move into. On the north side, the additional three-story building for youth/educational activities will be of stone construction to simulate Jerusalem’s holy study halls. Progressive with its adoption of the Montessori system to modernize Jewish education, The Shul’s Child Enrichment Center will have new classrooms to take families off the waiting list and into its most popular pre-school.

Architect and shul member Jaime Schapiro estimates the expansion construction will begin by the summer and that it will take two to two-and-a-half years to complete. Having built an entire community that was neither wanted nor welcomed when The Shul opened for worship in the early ’80’s, “we could not face the notion that we’d eventually have to turn people away,” Rabbi Lipskar reiterated. “As a community, premium space is for our teens to meet, for the members of the Sephardic minyan, for a men’s club, for women’s classes, and all events and Jewish education from birth through life.”

Bal Harbour dignitaries attending tomorrow night’s groundbreaking include Councilman Jaime Sanz, Assistant Mayor Patricia Cohen, Chief Mark Overton, Councilman Robert Yaffe, Mayor and Mrs. Jordan Leonard, Councilman Seth Salver and Councilman and Mrs. Isaac Salver. From Indian Creek, Mayor and Mrs. Bernard Klepach and Vice Mayor Javier Holtz will attend, with Mayor and Mrs. Daniel Dietch, Mr. Eli Tourgeman, and Captain Julio Yero from Surfside.

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