The Jewish community in Louisville, Kentucky, is reeling over the loss of its beloved Chabad Center and shul destroyed in a devastating blaze on Shabbos, the last day of Pesach.
While an investigation is still pending, the LMFD responded early Shabbos morning to a grease fire in the building adjoining the Chabad House. The fire department extinguished the fire, confirming the fire was out hours later. At noon, the Chabad house proper caught on fire and in just a few short moments was engulfed in flames. The roof quickly collapsed, leaving nothing but a shell. The quick acceleration of the fire in the shul prompted Metro Arson to launch an arson investigation in conjunction with ATF starting Monday.
“The Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, my personal mentor and the foremost Jewish leader of the modern era, envisioned a Chabad house as a spiritual home where every Jew is welcome” said Rabbi Avrohom Litvin, Regional Director of Chabad of Kentucky. “For so many we did not just lose our place of prayer, but our place of peace, community and belonging”.
The community was relieved that the sifrei Torah were rescued, and that with the exception of on site treatment for smoke inhalation, no one was hurt in the blaze; however, the shul itself and everything in it were destroyed.
As the community looks to the future, they take great inspiration from the communities in Western Kentucky.
“Following the terrible storms, Chabad was immediately on the ground helping those in need. We were constantly struck by the incredible resolve shown by everyone we met.” Rabbi Litvin explained. “Following their example, and inspired by the Rebbe’s boundless optimism and love, we know our best days are ahead and we will continue on from strength to strength.”
Chabad of Kentucky’s programs will continue even as they make plans to assess and create a new home. To donate, visit Chabadky.com/donate