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Chabad Gets Permits for New Center in Highland Lakes

After 9 years of dealing with red tape, Chabad Chayil finally got the full set of permits to build a new state of the art center in the Highland Lakes section of North Miami.

Chabad Chayil was founded in the late eighties by the legendary Rabbi Dovid Bryn of blessed memory, at the directive of The Lubavitcher Rebbe, to service the local Jewish community with meaningful programming, for adults, teens and children. Before Rabbi Bryn passed away, he brought Rabbi Moishe Kievman down to cover for him and run his growing operation. Since Rabbi Bryn’s passing in 2002 from marfan syndrome, Rabbi Kievman and his wife, Layah, have kept Chabad Chayil going and expanded its services with innovative programming.

At first Chabad Chayil ran out of the California Club Mall. It was known as California Club Shul - Chabad Chayil. It then rented several spaces, until it was able to purchase its first house on the corner of NE 26th Ave & 211 Ter. Although the space was tight from day one, it took several years until they were able to purchase the neighboring house and expand the Shul into it, and make more room for its growing afterschool programs. The new building will sit on 5 lots, in which there were 4 houses. Moving to a temporary location is already on the way, and demolition for the houses is scheduled for late January of 2021.

Before taking the plans before the zoning board, the rabbi presented the project to the community and addressed any issues that were brought up. Although some were skeptical, when the plans did finally come before the zoning commission, it passed unanimously. Many people came, but not one person had any concerns. “This project is a win win for everyone” said Rabbi Kievman who has been running Chabad Chayil now for more than 19 years. “It will beautify the neighborhood, create a safe place for our children, servicing their after school needs, and bring quality programs for children, teens and adults of all ages”. He explained that while one of the main concerns is always traffic, this will actually help alleviate the traffic issue, as it will stagger school pickup and allow parents to bring their children to a preschool closer to home.

To date, thousands have been impacted by the dedicated staff of Chabad Chayil, including several thousand children and teens who have enjoyed their well known afterschool activities. “This is a blessing for us and a dream come true for everyone” said Mark Levy who has been a part of the community for the past decade. “Just come by and see the smiling faces. See the children who are well taken care of and just want to stay. This is a blessing and the best news. I’m super excited”.

Community activist Avi Freunlich has coordinated volunteers who want to help in any way possible to make things go smoother. "I'm looking forward to have a place to call home for every Jew in the community," said Erica Chao who's 2 daughters attend CHAP and who volunteers at Chabad Chayil, any free second she has. "I was going to say a 'home away from home', but for so many Chabad is actually their 'first home'!

The new 5 story building will host its current award winning programs: CHAP Community Hebrew Afterschool Program, CKids, CTeen, GROW Enrichment, Hebrew School, Dovid Bryn Library and The Family Shul. It will G‑d willing include 14 regular classrooms, 2 specialty classrooms, adult & children's libraries, an indoor playground, jungle gym, social hall & rooftop park! With over 36,000 square feet of indoor space and 10,000 square feet of rooftop park and terraces, it will be a gem for the entire community, allowing Chabad to expand its current programming and services to include a preschool & a whole line up of extra curricular activities!

If you have access to the funds, here’s something to think about. You can enable the building to go up, without it costing you a dime, by making an Impact Investment. Think of it as recycling your charity, where you can give the same funds over and over again! You’re money will be 100+% secure, and if you want, you can even make money on it! For anyone looking to have a legacy that they are proud of, while investing in the local community, for an educational & humanitarian cause, this is the safest and smartest place to lend your money.

If you would like to join any of the committees, make a donation of any sort (financial, building materials, services..) or want to help in any way, please reach out. For the full set of plans & to see what dedications are available go to or call (305) 770-1919.


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