Cleveland Jewish News
Rabbi Yossi Freedman, co-director of Chabad of Downtown Cleveland, said the Chabad will offer a space downtown for prayers, services and food during the Republican National Convention July 18-21.
Freedman said the Chabad is renting the ground-floor open space at 55 Public Square previously occupied by John Q’s Steakhouse, which closed in 2013, from Optima Management Group of Cleveland.
Services will be offered at 6:45 and 7:45 a.m. each day of the convention.
The space will also be used as a pop-up restaurant, manned by Chef Dave’s Catering, a kosher catering business based in Beachwood, Freedman said. Breakfast, lunch and dinner will be served there, and to-go items will also be available, said Larry Frank, president of Chef Dave’s Catering.
“We’ll be there to service all the Jewish people coming in for the convention –delegates and different people coming in for networking,” Freedman said. “We’ve reached out to David Gilbert (president and CEO of the Cleveland Host Committee of the RNC), and he is forwarding people to us if they are in need of Jewish services.”
Freedman, who is overseeing the project with his wife, Chaya, the other co-director of Chabad of Downtown Cleveland, emphasized the organization is “apolitical” and is there to serve all Jewish people who take part in the convention regardless of their political affiliation.
“It’s a great opportunity for us, especially since we are very close by the (Cleveland) Convention Center and The Q (Quicken Loans Arena),” he said. “We’re about a block or two away from everything that’s happening.
“It’s also a great opportunity for all the people who are coming in from out of town to be able to have a glimpse of Jewish Cleveland.”
Freedman added, “This is a testament to how far the city has come, that there is actual Jewish life downtown. It shows there is positive momentum in Cleveland.”
The city of Cleveland once was the hub of Jewish life, and the Jewish Federation of Cleveland maintained its building in the city.