“Mazal tov to all who will enjoy the new synagogue!” Rabbi Meir Borenstein said to the 100 or so people who attended the opening of Goshen’s first free-standing synagogue last Thursday evening, Sept. 10. “All are welcome! We spread our light and goodness!”
Borenstein and his wife Rivkie direct Chabad of Orange County.
Earlier this year, Chabad purchased the 1918 building that housed the Goshen Public Library and Historical Society for $635,000 at about the same time the library was moving into its new quarters further downtown Main Street near Salesian Park.
Chabad retained the historical structure of the old library, which Borenstein said is perfect for a synagogue as well as for Hebrew school classrooms, a children’s center, teen lounge, social hall and administrative offices.
The rabbi thanked many for their help in opening the shul and making this evening possible. The men danced inside celebrating the opening and thanking God for his many blessings. People were given delicious treats of a wrap, a salad and a cookie. People were then offered tours circling the building, ten at a time only.
Diane Greenwald cut the ribbon with help from County Executive Steve Neuhaus and Bob Green.
“Everyone’s invited to the synagogue,” Borenstein said. “The synagogue is open to all and there are no fees to become a member. “Wealthier people,” he said, “help pay the bills.”
Borenstein also announced that the federal government had awarded the Chabad of Orange County $100,000. He added that there were security people among the crowd.
After the speeches, the festivities began. Men danced inside celebrating the opening. People standing outside were given box lunches of delicious treats: a wrap, a salad and a cookie.
And there were many local connections. For instance, the social hall is dedicated in memory of Diane Greenwald’s late husband, the attorney Gary Greenwald.
And long time Chabad members, mural painters Lisa Green and her daughter Beverly Green, completed a mural on the wall of one of the classrooms of the Chabad Children’s School.
The evening was capped off with a dinner inside the synagogue.