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Lazar Finker—Chabad Celebrates New Center

With the Purim festival right around the corner, there’s never been a better time to celebrate with the opening of Chabad of Southside’s new center. The grand opening, which occurred on Sunday, February 24, is the culmination of years of vision and planning. We at the Finker-Frenkel Family Foundation are proud to have given our support to Chabad, helping them realize their dream.


The new facility boasts new educational areas for students enrolled in at Ganeinu Preschool and Chabad’s religious schools. More areas for prayer and religious practice are also featured, along with kosher cafes and lounges for students and members of the community. The ribbon-cutting included representatives from the Finker-Frenkel Family Foundation as well as the Shapiro and Tabacinic families, all of whom helped make the new center possible.


Chabad has always been a movement defined not just by religion, but by its diversity. Dating back to the 18th century, the movement sought to offer education, religious services, and community for adherents of Hasidic Judaism.


Even today, a multitude of centers across every continent get by with the support of the surrounding community. Chabad centers strive to provide top-tier education, giving children a sense of pride in their Jewish roots and making learning religion relatable for all. For others, Chabad offers resources to help individuals expand their faith or even find kosher food options in the community.


Though it is one of many similar stories, Chabad of Southside embraces its roots as a small organization that thrives on and appreciates the support of the citizens of Jacksonville and the surrounding communities. In Chabad’s early days, Rabbi Shmuli and Chana Novack sought to establish the center wherever they could find space—whether in rented meeting rooms or local libraries. Soon, the two attracted dozens of members with services and educational events, culminating in the creation of a permanent center. This was when Lazar Finker first became involved with the organization, commissioning a new Torah scroll and supporting Chabad as they expanded services and facilities alike.


Through the Finker-Frenkel Family Foundation, Lazar has helped Chabad grow even further over the years as part of our mission. The ribbon cutting and dedication ceremony of the Finker-Frenkel Chabad synagogue center represents more than just a donation—it symbolizes a lasting partnership that will continue years from now.


We’re excited to see both the progress made by Chabad and the potential of this new facility to aid in the longterm health of the Jewish community in Jacksonville.