LGHS Groundbreaking Celebrated Chicago Community’s Growth

Chicago’s Lubavitch Girls High School held a community-wide Groundbreaking Ceremony celebrating their future home, a vast new building designed to strengthen every area of a student’s academic, social, spiritual, and emotional growth. 

Chicago’s Lubavitch Girls High School held a community-wide Groundbreaking Ceremony celebrating their future home, a vast new building designed to strengthen every area of a student’s academic, social, spiritual, and emotional growth. 

The joyous event brought together a huge crowd of excited community members, students, staff, supporters, Rabbinic leaders and government officials showing unity, solidarity, and a commitment to build and to strengthen in the face of extreme sorrow and adversity.  

“Our country Eretz Yisrael is fighting for survival surrounded by a sea of enemies,” said Rabbi Baruch Hertz, Rav of the Chabad community and Dean of LGHS, addressing the crowd.  “We are in pain, and we are even experiencing anti-Semitism in our community.  Today as we lay the cornerstone of a building which is going to bring so much good and light, where even one student will make a difference and inspire thousands, this is our response.”  He continued, “We are not deterred.  We are going to continue to build and to grow together.”   

The school was founded by Rabbi Daniel Moscowitz, a”h, and a group of dedicated parents with the Rebbe’s blessing in 1990 with less than 10 students in the classrooms of Congregation Bnei Ruven and has occupied several temporary locations before returning to Bnei Ruven, where it has once again been housed for the past 16 years.

The new school building marks the beginning of an initiative to build a fortified community campus for LGHS and Bnei Ruven, a stronghold for education and spirituality for generations to come.  The school will accommodate up to 200 students, will have 12 classrooms, a fully-stocked resource room, state-of-the-art laboratories for chemistry, biology and STEM, an extensive suite of rooms for extracurricular activities, and many more features and spaces designed to grow and enhance student life, support students’ mental health, and enhance faculty and staff life.

In total, the new school building will cover 30,000 square feet, almost all of it above ground, designed by the award-winning architects of Morgante Wilson Architects, with lead architect Fred Wilson.  Later phases of the wide-ranging project will include an additional 30,000 square feet and will add a gym, kitchen, and social hall. That phase will also bring an overhaul to Bnei Ruven’s building, which has become too small for the growing community’s burgeoning needs. 

The state-of-the-art campus is supported, in part, by Walder Foundation, which was founded by Joseph and Elizabeth Walder to address critical issues impacting our world.

“My husband and I have supported Jewish education initiatives for many years because we recognize that a high-quality day school education is key to the continuity of the Jewish people,” said Elizabeth Walder, president and executive director of Walder Foundation. “We are drawn to opportunities to create enriching learning environments where young people can flourish. Lubavitch Girls High School already contributes greatly to our community, and we look forward to seeing them move in to this inviting new campus, where both faculty life and student life can blossom.”

At the groundbreaking ceremony, Rabbi Hertz thanked Mrs. Walder for her vision that helped set LGHS on this path and invited her up to unveil the new school building’s cornerstone.  Jenni Richton, Elana Berlin, and Jeff Sweet of Walder Foundation’s Jewish Life team joined as well together with Mrs. Chanie Hertz, Principal Emeritus Mrs. Esther Rochel Mosowitz, and Principal Mrs. Sarah Wineberg.  

The event was opened by Rabbi Moshe Elya Markowitz, Associate Rabbi of Bnei Ruven.  A letter of the Rebbe was read by Rabbi Meir Shimon Moscowitz, Head Shliach of Illinois.  Tehillim was read by Rabbi Yosef Shmuel Moscowitz, Executive Director of Lubavitch Chabad of Illinois; Rabbi Yitzchok Wolf, Dean of Cheder Lubavitch Hebrew Day School; Rabbi Moshe Perlstein, Dean of Lubavitch Mesivta of Chicago; Rabbi Avrohom Moller of Associated Talmud Torahs; and Dr. Chaim Hecht, LGHS Board member and a founding parent of the school. 

Following Tehillim, Administrator Rabbi Shua Greenspan described to the crowd the features of the new building that will stand on the site and be finished next year. 

Also joining together with the community were Illinois State Senator Ram Villivalam and Alderman Debra Silverstein.

“The Lubavitch Girls High School’s mission to provide excellent Judaic education for young women aligns with the Foundation’s goals to advance women as leaders in our community,” said Jenni Richton, senior program officer for Jewish Life at Walder Foundation. “We are excited to see the new campus take shape and to provide a settting where young women can learn and grow.”

The ceremony concluded with community members getting a first look at the nearly finished new LGHS Student Center & Residence Hall across the street, another major facet of the new campus.  The new 10,000 square-foot center provides ample, beautifed spaces for students to live, connect, and thrive—and stands as a new focal point for Jewish life in the community.

Concluded Rabbi Hertz, “We are seeing today a miracle, a dream come to fruition after many years.”

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