LIVINGSTON, NJ — The local Jewish community came out in spades earlier this month to celebrate the opening of the new Chabad at Short Hills Center for Jewish Life, located at 650 South Orange Avenue where Livingston and Short Hills meet.

Among the local dignitaries at the grand opening event and ribbon cutting ceremony were the mayors and some council members from both Livingston and Millburn-Short Hills.

Rabbi Mendel Solomon welcomed the members of the public who joined in the celebration and thanked those who donated time and funds to completing the building. His wife, Chana Solomon, spoke about her disappointment when the Millburn Zoning Board rejected their original plan, but said she knew the rejection was in “God’s plan” so that they could be “in this new beautiful space."

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Rabbi Solomon also invited his close friend Livingston Mayor Ed Meinhardt, a current Livingston resident who was raised in Short Hills, as well as Millburn Mayor Cheryl Burstein, Livingston Councilman Michael Silverman and others to speak.

“This really is what we call a ‘shared-services’ between Millburn, Short Hills and Livingston,” said Meinhardt. “While the name says Millburn-Short Hills Chabad, it is technically 85 or 90 percent in Livingston and we are happy to have them as residents. They’ve done a beautiful job with their building and with attracting members and we look forward to having another house of worship in our community.”

According to the center’s website, Chabad at Short Hills is “guided by the idea that there should be a place where everyone can feel at home, within a Jewish context.”

“Ours is a place where Judaism is celebrated joyfully and meaningfully, where Judaism sheds relevant perspective to our daily lives,” its vision states. “With opportunities to expand the mind, excite the heart and touch the soul, our center offers a wide range of learning venues, for all ages, where questions are encouraged and embraced.”

Click HERE to learn more about the Chabad at Short Hills Center for Jewish Life. 

All photos were provided by Fred Smith of TAPinto South Orange-Maplewood (SOMA).