Chabad at Miami University in Oxford is moving to a new, bigger space this fall. The organization is renovating a former fraternity house near the campus and is hopeful that it will be completed before the High Holy Days.
The new space will include a library, kosher kitchen, shul, student lounge and multipurpose space.
“In short, Chabad took over a 6,000-square-foot fraternity home,” Chabad’s Rabbi Yossi Greenberg told the CJN. “And it’s being literally gutted, A to Z, everything will be nice, fresh and welcoming and beautiful to accommodate students and the activities for them here at Miami.”
The new Chabad house will also have a large yard to accommodate physically distant events this fall and throughout the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Chabad’s move comes after the organization has seen an increase in membership over its first seven years at the university. As the organization planned for the future, Greenberg knew a new space was needed.
“An amazing problem – running out of space – has become a reality,” Greenberg said. “Because of tremendous growth, our rental space was bursting at the seams.”
This new house will function as a permanent home for Chabad, since the organization owns the new building as opposed to renting.
Greenberg said that growing over time is typical for Chabad and is a sign of a bright future for the organization at Miami.
“We started literally out of our living room and dining room with a handful of students,” Greenberg said. “And at this point during the holidays, we’re able to have over 100 people come through the door.”
Greenberg is hopeful Chabad’s new space will continue to carry on the organization’s inviting nature that helped in gaining members over the years.
“That’s the strength of starting small,” Greenberg said. “We’re very relationship based, very homey and cozy. It’s the true home away from home experience.”
Tim Carlin is the Irving I. Stone Editorial Intern at the Cleveland and Columbus Jewish News.