The regional headquarters of Chabad of Kentucky were destroyed on Acharon Shel Pesach in a fire which is being investigated as an arson. “We lost much more than a building, but we will continue even stronger,” Head Shliach Rabbi Avrohom Litvin said.
Acharon Shel Pesach is usually a cause for great celebration in the Jewish community. However this year, Louisville’s community was deeply distressed by news of the devastating fire that destroyed the local Chabad Center and shul.
While an investigation is still pending, the LMFD responded early Shabbos morning to a grease fire in the building adjoining the Chabad House. The fire department extinguished the fire, confirming the fire was out hours later. At noon Shabbos morning, the Chabad house proper caught on fire and in just a few short moments was engulfed in flames. The roof quickly collapsed leaving nothing but a shell. The quick acceleration of the fire in the Chabad House prompted Metro Arson to launch an arson investigation in conjunction with ATF starting Monday.
“The Rebbe envisioned a Chabad house as a spiritual home where every Jew is welcome” said Rabbi Avrohom Litvin, Regional Director of Chabad of Kentucky. “For so many we did not just lose our place of prayer, but our place of peace, community and belonging”.
The community was relieved that the Sifrei Torah were rescued, and that with the exception of on site treatment for smoke inhalation, no one was hurt in the blaze, however the Chabad House and everything in it were destroyed.
As the community looks to the future, they take great inspiration from the communities in Western Kentucky.
“Following the terrible storms, Chabad was immediately on the ground helping those in need. We were constantly struck by the incredible resolve shown by everyone we met.” Rabbi Litvin explained. “Following their example, and inspired by the Rebbe’s boundless optimism and love, we know our best days are ahead and we will continue on from strength to strength.”
Chabad of Kentucky’s programs will continue even as they make plans to assess and create a new home. To donate, visit Chabadky.com/donate.