Chabad of Central Florida
Friday, September 22, 2023 - 7 Tishrei 5784
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6:07 PM in Tampa, FL
Shabbat Ends 7:00 PM
Friday, 22 Sep 2023
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History of Chabad of Central Florida

In April of 1976 Rabbi Lazer Rivkin his wife Devorah and their two children at the time Bruriah & Uriel entered into the Rebbe's room for Yechidus (private audience) one of the things they had written to the Rebbe about and requested a blessing for, was the option of moving to Tampa, FL as his Shluchim (Emmisaries).

Despite the difficulties of getting Kosher food, educating their children, (there was no Jewish day school or Mikvah at the time), being far away from any family or friends, the Rivkin's, out of self sacrifice & devotion to the Rebbe's work, were prepared to embark on a lifelong mission to Tampa as the Rebbe's Shluchim.

The Rebbe put his trust in them and said "You should bring light & warmth to every individual you encounter." After the Yechidus, the Rivkins departed for Tampa and immediately started programs for the Jewish students at the University of South Florida. Their efforts were met with much success.

The Rebbe had instilled the enthusiasm & confidence they needed & was guiding them every step of the way.

In 1985, with the instructions of the Rabbi Chaim Mordechai Isaac Hodakov A"H- Head secretariat of the Lubavitcher Rebbe and Director of Merkos L'Inyonei Chinuch, Rabbi Rivkin was appointed to be the director of Chabad's activities in central Florida. This post would involve overseeing that Chabad's work should expand to other cities in the central FL area such as Bradenton, Clearwater, Gainesville, Orlando, Sarasota, and S. Petersberg.  As these areas did not have a full time Chabad presence, Rabbi Rivkin worked tirelessly and by the year 1988 appointed 6 new Rabbi's & Rebbetzin's who would continue to spread Yiddishkeit and Jewish awareness to the growing numbers of Jews in central Florida.

As Chabad of Central Florida enters into its 35th year, we are proud of the growing network of Chabad centers in this area which include more than 15 centers throughout central Florida KAIN YIRBU (may they increase).

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2001 W. Swann Ave. Tampa, FL 33606 - Rabbi Lazer Rivkin, Regional Director - 813-966-8770

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