'Ever expanding' religious group settles into new home (From East London and West Essex Guardian Series)
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The Chabad Jewish Centre has moved to Epping New Road to accommodate the growing Jewish community
An ‘ever expanding’ Jewish community centre which was founded in the living room of a rented home is moving to new premises.
Eight years ago, Buckhurst Hill couple Rabbi Odom and Henny Brandman began opening their home to other Jewish people at weekends and on special occasions.
Growing demand soon meant that they had to find somewhere other than the front room of their Russell Road home to accommodate guests.
The Chabad Jewish Centre moved to Daiglin School Hall, then a building with just one room in Princes Road, before finally making a new home in Epping New Road, last Wednesday.
Rabbi Odom Brandman, 32, says he is over the moon.
He said: “The Jewish Centre has provided hundreds of Jewish families with a vibrant, inclusive community in which they are unequivocally accepted and embraced.
“The centre has grown tremendously over the past few years. In fact it has become a victim of its own success always looking for bigger premises.
“The previous facility on Princes Road could no longer accommodate the growing demand for Hebrew School students, holiday participants and those wishing to join the ever growing roster of activities and services.”
The Chabad Jewish Centre is entirely funded by local donations and runs children’s Hebrew classes, mother and child groups and even organises visits to schools to talk about Judaism.
Rabbi Odom Brandman, a father of five boys, says that the dream for he and the rest of the community is to buy land and build a home.
He said: “In the end we would hope to create a purpose built centre.
“Every year the Jewish community is growing. When we moved here we knew nobody and last week we had 150 people for New Year.
“Absolutely everything we do is community and family orientated.”
To get in touch with the Brandman’s you can see their website, www.chabadonthehill.co.uk or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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