2005-01-13-Chabad-downtown San Diego
Second-generation San Diego Chabadniks
Donald H. Harrison
is the daughter of Rabbi Yonah Fradkin,
who came to San Diego as a pioneer Chabad rabbi in the 1970s. Fradkin settled near San
Diego State University, opened a small Hebrew school in 1980, and built and
built. The result: today there are
10 Chabad facilities in the greater San Diego County area—the downtown
facility being only the latest of them.
The young rebbitzin saw
her father nurture Chabad into a network of institutions serving nearly every
pocket of Jewish settlement in San Diego County, and even reaching just beyond
the county's borders to Tijuana, Mexico, on its south, and the town of Temecula,
in Riverside County, to its north.
The original Chabad
House near San Diego State University was left under the care of Rabbi
Chalom Boudjnak to serve college students as well as older residents of that
area, while Fradkin and the Chabad’s San Diego County headquarters moved to a
sprawling multi-million dollar facility in a rustic portion of Scripps Ranch,
home of the modern Chabad
Hebrew Academy. Rabbi
Fradkin’s son—Rabbi Yosef Fradkin—helped his father transition to the
Financial contributors in
other parts of San Diego County have taken Chabad to their hearts. The Lubavitcher
Chasidic organization has modern synagogues in the University
City area of San Diego and the suburban city of Poway,
respectively led by Rabbis Moishe Leider and Yisroel Goldstein. Both these
facilities host senior programs operated by Jewish
Family Service of San Diego.
congregations can be reached by traveling north on coastal Interstate 5
from downtown San Diego to the picturesque La
Jolla Shores, home of the University
of California San Diego; to Carmel Valley/ Del
Mar, known for its racetrack and beaches, and to La
Costa, home of one of the world’s best known golf-courses.
These congregations are led respectively by Rabbis Shalom Ezagui, Hirsh
Piekarski, and Yeruchem Eilfort.
South of San Diego, there
are more Chabad operations. In
Bonita, an inland portion of the suburban city of Chula Vista, the Beth
Eliyahu Torah Center—the area’s only Sephardic congregation—is led by
Chabad-trained Rabbi Daniel Srugo. Further
south, in Tijuana, Rabbi
Mendel Polichenco is spiritual leader of the Chabad synagogue housed
incongruously at the Centro Social Israelita—the Jewish Social Center,
complete with swimming pool and tennis courts.
For now, Rabbi and
Rebbetzin Carlebach are home shul-ing in San Diego; that is they hold Shabbat
services and classes in their downtown apartment not far from
San Diego’s new Petco Ballpark and it 1996-GOP National
Convention-hosting Convention Center. The
Carlebachs pass on their address by word of mouth to people who
call them at (619) 301-7450 or by email via firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Carlebachs are making
progress in spreading the word that Orthodox Judaism has returned to downtown
San Diego after a hiatus of approximately 70 years.