By Ryan Torok / Los Angeles Jewish Journal
The beach-adjacent intersection of Pacific Coast Highway and Sunset Boulevard was a festive atmosphere of Chabadniks and their supporters on Sept. 7, when Chabad of Pacific Palisades marked the launch of a major fundraising campaign.
The goal of the first phase of the effort, according to Chabad of Pacific Palisades executive director Rabbi Zushe Cunin, is to collect $5 million to help transform its 2.5-acre campus at 17315 Sunset Blvd. into a full-fledged Jewish Community Center and Campus. The planned facility will have a multipurpose room, gymnasium, swimming pool and more.
The final result, he said, will serve Jews and non-Jews, including teens, seniors, singles and others from surrounding areas — the Palisades, Malibu, Santa Monica and Brentwood. Currently, several of Chabad of Pacific Palisades’ programs, including its early childhood center, Gan Izzy Day Camp and its special needs-focused Friendship Circle operate on the site, which Chabad purchased from the J. Paul Getty Trust several years ago.
“The message we’re trying to convey is this is something that is available to whatever community you belong to, so while Chabad is sponsoring this and it’s absolutely our mission to bring this to the community, we want to make sure everyone knows it’s a communal asset available and accessible to complement any neighboring community,” Cunin explained to the Journal in a phone interview.
Last weekend’s kickoff event was titled “Building the Dream Together.” It featured remarks by Journal president David Suissa and performances by comedian Elon Gold, musical act 8th Day and others.
Event hosts were Steven and Amanda Kofsky, and event chairs wereDavid Cohen, Mark Karlan and Louis Kemp. Approximately 350 people turned out, including Palisades resident Eva Field, who Cunin said pledged $18,000 in support of the organization’s efforts, and the family of fallen Israel Defense Forces soldier and San Fernando Valley native Max Steinberg. A memorial wall at the center will honor Steinberg, Cunin said.