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Chabad finds a home in the heart of Borehamwood

Permanent base will boost growing local group

    The Hoch family
    The Hoch family

    From Sunday, Chabad will have its first permanent site in the Elstree and Borehamwood area, which will offer a range of activities and classes for all ages.

    The opening of the Jewish Life Centre will also be a milestone for directors Rabbi Chaim and Leah Hoch, who have been building the local Chabad presence since 2011.

    Mrs Hoch said that communal events such as menorah lightings had attracted large crowds and focused educational activities had been taken up in decent numbers. But progress had been restricted by the lack of Chabad's own home.

    The permanent base is centrally located in a renovated warehouse near the main Borehamwood shopping area.

    Mrs Hoch stressed that it would not be a shul, "more a community centre. Because the Elstree and Borehamwood community is so big, there have to be multiple facilities to cater for everyone.

    "People can come to us from all backgrounds. We want to attract the non-affiliated who want to be involved in Jewish life in a way they feel comfortable."

    Offerings will include activities for mums and babies and after-school provision for teenagers - "we are hoping to have table tennis and a pool table. We also now have an amazing kitchen area, which will make a huge difference," Mrs Hoch added.

    The renovation has cost around £100,000 and operating costs will be £150,000 annually. The project has been supported by private donors in the area, but more funds need to be raised. 

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