Rohr Chabad of NDG has started a crowdfunding campaign to save the former church hall and get back its ownership from the real estate developers. To save the Synagogue where thousands of Jewish people reside, the fundraising campaign is aimed to raise $250,000 by the end of May 2016.
In 2013, The Chabad of NDG relocated to the parish hall adjacent to the former St. Columbia Church and the project included that the church would go under redevelopment and that would decide Chabad’s future too. However, due to some unforeseen circumstances, the historic property and Jew’s holy place of worship and charity work is in danger for which, the community seeks help from the fellow Jews and anyone else on humanitarian grounds.
Saving the Chabad would ensure that the Jewish institution keeps nurturing the needs of 5000 to 7000 Jews who reside in NDG that is about 10-15% of the total population. The only Jewish center in the area aims to spread Jewish cultural, humanitarian and religious services to the neighborhood of NDG. The success of the campaign will ensure that NDG will keep having the most cherished Jewish community center and synagogue.
Chabad has been a rent-free tenant of the property of Hingston Avenue since September 2013 until Cote des Neiges-Notre Dame de Grâce borough council disapproved the developers plan of a housing project on the site. The decision also faced quiet opposition from the local residents.
Rabbi Bernath, the founder of Chabad of NDG observed that the developers may have received offers for the property and that the Chabad will remain like this if they match other offers. Chabad was established in 2008 and initially it was located in three different locations (rented storefronts) on Monkland Avenue. With an aims to enter a permanent home of its own, it signed an agreement with the developers which stated that they could occupy the hall within 18 months but unfortunately, that did not happen.
Although the incident has been a little underrated yet it garnered some attention from the media such as Cjnews which has covered the whole story in detail through their recently published article. The Chabad announced the launch of their fundraising campaign on April 18 with an appeal to the ‘local, national and international community’ to help save their ‘synagogue, the holy place of worship for Jewish from an unprecedented attack from the local elected city councilor.’
More information about the campaign is available at jewishmonkland.com