City of Fort Lauderdale Names Street ‘Chabad Drive’

In a city with a history of antisemitism, today the City of Fort Lauderdale recognized the contributions of Rabbi Moishe Meir and Penina Lipszyc by naming a central street as ‘Chabad Drive.’

On March 6, 2024, over two hundred and fifty people of all ages and professions, gathered outside Chabad Lubavitch of Fort Lauderdale to witness the historical and momentous occasion for the Jewish community as the mayor and commissioners of Fort Lauderdale unveiled the new street name!

The evening started with the mayor inviting Rabbi Mendel Fayershteyn, Assistant Rabbi, Cteen and YJP Director at Chabad Lubavitch Fort Lauderdale to open up with a blessing. Rabbi Mendel dedicated the blessing to the City of Fort Lauderdale and its leadership and then led prayers in merit of the hostages, the IDF and all of Israel.

The Mayor of Fort Lauderdale, Dean Trantalis addressed the crowd and said, “As we unveil the Chabad Lubavitch street sign in Fort Lauderdale today, we celebrate not only the thriving Jewish heritage of our city but also reaffirm our commitment to inclusivity and unity. In a time when anti-Semitic sentiments are on the rise nationwide, this new street sign stands as a powerful symbol of hope, welcoming all to our community. Let us continue to stand together against bigotry in all its forms as we strive to build a city where everyone feels valued and respected.”

Following him, Fort Lauderdale Commissioner, John Herbst who arranged the details of this ceremony declared, “I am very proud to be able to honor Chabad Lubavitch and my good friend, Rabbi Moishe Meir, by adding the name Chabad Drive to NE 35 Street. The City of Fort Lauderdale wants to acknowledge all of the contributions that the Chabad has made to the community since it was established here in 1990. The services and programs continue to grow and deepen their impact on the lives of our residents. Let us continue to work together to build a stronger, more welcoming Fort Lauderdale for all.”

Executive Director of Chabad Lubavitch of Fort Lauderdale, Rabbi Moishe Meir Lipszyc concluded by saying, “What a great honor and tribute to the Rebbe this is, who teaches us to love and cherish every human being and to make this world a dwelling place for G-d. As the Rebbe instructed us, we have to complete this world to bring Moshiach now!

Also present at the ceremony were Fort Lauderdale Commissioner of District 2, Steve Glasman, Ft. Lauderdale Police Chief Bill Schultz, Ft. Lauderdale Fire Chief Stephen Gollan, Former Mayor of Fort Lauderdale Jim Naugle, and the Honorable Stockwell Day, P.C. of Canada. The event concluded with everyone gathering together as esteemed partners of Chabad Lubavitch were honored with unveiling the new street sign along with city officials and Rabbis.

This momentous occasion marks thirty- four years that Rabbi Moishe Meir and Penina Lipszyc embarked on a Shlichus from the Rebbe to Fort Lauderdale to establish a Jewish community on the east side of town.

Historically, East Fort Lauderdale, a beachside community, was home to only a handful of Jewish residents. Most of them switched their names to hide their Jewish identity and never publicly showed their Jewish pride.

When Rabbi Moishe Meir & Penina were sent by the Rebbe in 1989 to open the first Chabad House in Fort Lauderdale there was only one reform temple in town, about to close their doors. The Rabbi of that temple warned Rabbi Moishe Meir that it wasn’t worth opening a synagogue/Jewish community center in the east side of Fort Lauderdale due to prevalent anti-Semitism.

When Rabbi Moishe Meir asked where the most anti-semitic area was in the east side of town, he was told Galt Ocean Mile located right off A1A on the beach of Fort Lauderdale. That is exactly where Rabbi Moishe Meir & Penina decided to open the first Chabad house.

Over the past thirty-four (34) years, their dedication and hard work have transformed the city and created a vibrant Jewish presence that continues to thrive.

From the small store front they rented in 1990, they have grown and expanded Chabad Lubavitch to a full city block with a permanent beautiful community center that has programs that serve all the Jewish communal needs on a daily basis. These include three daily prayers, a men’s and a women’s Mikvah, a Pre-school, a Hebrew school, CTeen, YJP, Adult Education/Torah classes, certified JLI courses, a public Jewish library, a Women’s League and kosher food and hospitality suites at Broward General Medical Center and Holy Cross Hospital. In addition, there is a Friendship Circle and Wisdom Circle and many more programs.

Chabad Lubavitch of Fort Lauderdale has also expanded with an additional four Chabad Centers along with eight Shluchim and Shluchos and their families who are dedicated to the Jewish communal needs of the City of Fort Lauderdale.

In recognition of all this, Fort Lauderdale city officials chose to honor and recognize Chabad Lubavitch of Fort Lauderdale as a vibrant partner in the growth of the City of Fort Lauderdale, one of the largest growing cities in America!

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