Chabad of Orange County has started building a new center in Monroe

Nathan Law

VILLAGE OF MONROE – Guests at the groundbreaking ceremony off Gilbert Street sipped mimosas and fetched treats from the kosher ice truck to beat the heat, mercifully liberated from masks for the first time in a year. The gathering on Sunday was both a sweet farewell to the pandemic and […]

VILLAGE OF MONROE – Guests at the groundbreaking ceremony off Gilbert Street sipped mimosas and fetched treats from the kosher ice truck to beat the heat, mercifully liberated from masks for the first time in a year.

The gathering on Sunday was both a sweet farewell to the pandemic and a long-anticipated milestone. After 15 years of planning, Rabbi Pesach Burston and his wife, Chana, were finally celebrating the construction of a Chabad center for the Jewish activities, services and classes they have held in temporary locations nearby since 2004.

The foundation already had been poured for the 10,000-square-foot building the couple hopes to finish by next spring. Once completed, the single-story structure will hold a synagogue that doubles as a social hall, along with classrooms, offices and a commercial kitchen to prepare the guest-enticing food that fuels Chabad activities.

The building is about half the size that the Burstons originally envisioned. Rabbi Burston said Tuesday that the long period spent raising funds and developing plans proved to be fortunate, giving him and his wife more time to build their community and recognize what it needed and could afford.

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