Fire at Chabad


 Dear Friends,

It's been 4 days since the fire broke out outside Chabad and I want to begin my update today by saying THANK YOU.

What began 14 years ago in our living room, has transformed into loving, supportive, and unified community. Thank you for letting Fruma and me know that we're not alone and that we are all in this together. Thank you for your non-ending stream of emails, text messages, and phone calls. (If we haven't responded directly, please know we have read and heard every message.) Thank you for your financial support. Thank you for coming by; offering a helping hand and a hug. It's at times like these that we turn to G-d and thank Him for the many blessings in our lives.

CAUSE: As frustrating as this is for all of us, the truth is that at this time we simply have no idea how the fire began. We do know that it began outside the back of the building at approx. 12:30am Friday morning. We do know that there are no initial signs of foul play or arson. Detectives and fire officials didn't sense any odors of an accelerant (gasoline, kerosene, etc.) and the burning pattern doesn't appear to be consistent with the use of an accelerant. They are continuing to work on the investigation and we will let you know as we hear more updates.

2) BUILDING: The fire primarily damaged the exterior of the building. The actual building is, thank G-d, structurally intact and not compromised. The interior of the building was, thank G-d, not damaged by the actual fire (smoke, water, and other damage is still being assessed).

Due to safety concerns, the power and gas was shut off immediately. Yesterday we obtained electrical building permits from the city to fix exposed and damaged electrical. Once that job is complete and properly inspected, PG&E will be allowed to turn back on the power and gas and we will be able to use the building. Hopefully we can complete all this within the next few days. At this point, we anticipate Hebrew School, services, programming, classes, and all our activities to be in the building by September 1 - please G-d.

 GOING FORWARD: Our response to setbacks and challenge is to increase our energy and become more vibrant than before. As all of you have confidently assured us: our community will come together to restore, recover, rebuild, and renew. Not only will this fire not stifle our growth, it will accelerate it.

Having obtained use permits from the city a few months ago for expansion of our outdoors, preschool development, and security upgrades we are using the destruction of the fire as an impetus to hire architects to create a design and rendering of an upgraded and newly renovated and secured Chabad Center for Jewish Life. We're hoping to have a magnificent design ready to roll out before the High Holidays.

HELPING OUT: Once the investigation is concluded and the power is back on at the building we are going to have a communal "Clean Up Chabad Day". Please stay tuned for that info. Additionally, if you are in a position to help us through this time of recovery, you can make a donation at:

A Personal Tisha B'av

 Tisha B'av.jpg

The devastation we experienced in our community makes Tisha B’av more palpable for me than ever before.

Tonight our People gathered outside the Temple mound’s remaining wall (pictured below) - joined with millions around the world - mourning the destruction and hoping for redemption. May our sorrow and unity arouse Divine mercy and finally bring about an end to this exile.

Thank you again - each and every one of you - for your love and support.

Use this link to find out more about Tisha B’av:


The Shining Menorah

Fire Menorah Picture.jpg

As flames of destruction consumed our Chabad Center last night, they simultaneously illuminated the menorah and renewed our fortitude (see photo).

Today was a difficult day for our community. But through the tragedy, the outpouring of love, unity, support, care, and good will that we received today was one of the greatest bursts of light we have ever beheld.

Dear friends, we WILL come together to rebuild and we WILL make our center more beautiful and more vibrant than ever before. As the theme of this Shabbat that precedes Tisha B’av teaches us: “Transform Tragedy into Redemption”

How blessed we are to have one another. How blessed we are that no lives were injured or lost. How blessed we are that our Torahs are intact and our building is still standing (had it burned for just a few minutes longer, it may have been a very different story).

As we prepare to celebrate this special transformative Shabbat may each of us be blessed with only goodness and joy. May we merit to celebrate this Tisha B’av with the rebuilding of the Temple and the coming of Moshaich!

Below please see the schedule of services and observances for the Shabbat & Tisha B’av.

If you are in a position to help us through this time period, please visit: or contact me personally.


The 1am phone call

Dear friends,

At 1am this morning I received a phone call from the Police Department informing me that there was a fire at Chabad. By the time I arrived to the scene, fire fighters had already extinguished the flames (which had engulfed much of the building).

Thank Gd, no one was injured and the Torah scrolls are safe. While there is severe damage to the exterior of the building, the interior of the building is relatively intact.


All indications point to the fire beginning at approx. 12:30am outside the rear of the building. (There is no sign of arson or foul play but the investigation is just beginning.)

On behalf of our entire community, I want to give a heartfelt thank you to the Livermore-Pleasanton Fire Department and all the firefighters who responded. Your speed, professional work, and dedication saved our building and our Torahs. How can we ever repay you?

As we prepare to observe Tisha B’av, the day when the Temple in Jerusalem was burned down, we turn to our Father in Heaven and ask Him to bestow only blessings upon us all and send Moshiach speedily.

Please stay tuned for the location of Shabbat services.


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