CLINTON TWP., N.J. - Construction is expected to start soon at the new home for Chabad of Hunterdon County.
A groundbreaking ceremony is planned from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 14. The event will be held at 57 Payne Rd. here, just off Route 31 south.
The plan by architects Michael Landau and Joshua Zinder from Landau Zinder Architects of Princeton include a new 17,000-square foot facility, complete with a synagogue, social hall, Hebrew school, preschool, kosher kitchen, youth lounge, Holocaust Education Center, library, classrooms and outdoor terraces.
Rabbi Eli and Rachel Kornfeld founded Chabad of Hunterdon in 2003. In 2014, Chabad acquired 10 acres of land to build a permanent home. Construction is expected to be completed in 14 to 18 months, the rabbi said.
The groundbreaking celebration will include activities and entertainment for all ages, including tractor rides, moonbounce and rock climbing for children. Guests will include Rep. Leonard Lance, Clinton Township Mayor John Higgins, Hunterdon County Prosecutor Anthony P. Kearns, III and county Freeholders.
Rabbi Moshe Herson, who is Dean of the Rabbinical College of America, will also be present and offer his remarks.
“This is the beginning of a new and exciting era for Chabad and for the Hunterdon County community,” said Rabbi Kornfeld in a press release. “This soon to be, state-of-the-art center will allow Chabad to better serve our ever-expanding portfolio of community wide programs and events. We have outgrown our current location on Beaver Avenue and must rent spaces throughout the county for more than 50 days a year.”
Chabad’s programs here reached more than 1,000 people this year and continues to grow at an average of 15 percent annually, Kornfeld said.
The facility’s $4.7 million funding campaign for the new facility received a big lift when the building was dedicated as the Yakov and Hava Chabad Jewish Center.
“It was a huge boost and injected a real sense of excitement and optimism into the project,” Kornfeld said. Their son, Avi, a Clinton Township resident, wanted to perpetuate the memories of his parents who were dedicated to give back and support Jewish Institutions around the world.
“I felt this was the perfect project that matched the passion of my mother and father,” he said in a press release. “They never forgot where they came from. This will truly bring together the Chabad mission and my parents legacy into one message.”
The capital campaign also received support from a wide cross section of the community, and has received commitments of more than $3.4 million toward the campaign goal so far.