GrandOpening_007.JPGOn On Sunday May 23rd Chabad of Plantation celebrated the Grand Opening of its new facility.

For Pictures of the event click here.

For Videos of the event click here. 

When Rabbi Mendy and Chanie Posner moved to the popular South Florida suburb of Plantation to open up a Jewish center in a small 900-square-foot storefront, few predicted that in the space of 18 years, a list of growing programs would demand ever bigger facilities.

But today, locals say, Chabad-Lubavitch of Plantation is among the go-to Jewish destinations in the area. It offers children’s and adult programming, ritual baths, several Torah scrolls, an expanded religious staff, and since May 23, a brand new 12,000-square-foot building sporting not only a synagogue, but a library, classrooms, social hall and commercial kitchen for the use of this community of thousands of Jewish residents.

“I think the new center is going to be a magnet for the local Jewish community,” says Marc Segal, a contractor who put the roof on the new structure. “We’re all expecting a tremendous impact in drawing new, young families who want to reconnect with their roots and their children with Judaism. I know that the beauty of the new building and the comfort of the space will attract new interest.”

Together with their colleagues Rabbi Aron Pink and his wife Rochel, the Posners are finding their hands full as more and more families sign up for programs such as a preschool, daily Hebrew school classes, assorted clubs for children and adults of all ages, and a new ritual bath for men.

“The exposure that the new center has is absolutely amazing,” says Mendy Posner. “With such a beautiful new building, we’re already experiencing growth.”

Mitch Joseph, who began attending synagogue services 13 years ago and is now its president and congregational caretaker, is looking forward to the increased social opportunities that the new building affords.

“The new building will really help to change and influence the community for the better,” says Joseph, an electrical contractor who wired the new building. “The new center will make it easier to get a lot of people illuminated about the Jewish way of life just by walking through the doors.”

For Ivor Bamberger, president of a Miami insurance agency and master of ceremonies for the center’s grand opening, the facility is a symbol of growth.

“Over the years, more and more people have been moving to our area and we have things now that 18 years ago, no one could have imagined,” says Bamberger, who moved to Plantation the same year as the Posners and helped establish the synagogue. “We’re so proud that in this most difficult economy, we’ve managed to build the most beautiful center.”