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2014-01-17 digital edition

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The Jewish Press of Tampa and the Jewish Press of Pinellas County are Independently- owned biweekly Jewish community newspapers published in cooperation with and supported by the Tampa JCC & Federation and the Jewish Federation of Pinellas & Pasco Counties, respectively. Copyright © 2009-2018 The Jewish Press Group of Tampa Bay, Inc., All Rights Reserved.


January 17, 2014  RSS feed

Text: T T T

Belleair Road tract to become permanent home for Chabad of Clearwater

Property that Chabad of Clearwater recently purchased for its new center. Property that Chabad of Clearwater recently purchased for its new center. With the purchase of a picturesque, shady 1.25-acre tract along Belleair Road in Clearwater, Chabad of Clearwater has taken a major step in its goal to build a center for Jewish life in the area, say Rabbi Levi Hodokov.

Renovations are already underway on the property, which contains a home and another structure, with hopes that by next Passover, a communitywide grand opening can be held.

A $770,000 fundraising campaign has begun to help realize Chabad of Clearwater’s dream.

Nearly eight years ago, Rabbi Hodakov, along with his wife Miriam moved to Pinellas County, to assist Rabbi Shalom Adler of Young Israel-Chabad of Pinellas County in Palm Harbor. Two years ago the couple assumed the roles of directors of Chabad of Clearwater.

“The number one question I get is ‘Rabbi, where do you hold services?’ Now, I have an answer,” Rabbi Hodakov said. Prior to purchasing the property, services had been held in a variety of temporary locations.

The new facility will carry the name of the Tabacinic family, in appreciation for the generosity of Bal Harbour philanthropists Moris and Lillian Tabacinic, Rabbi Hodakov said. “They have made the impossible possible and for that Chabad of Clearwater will forever be grateful,” he said.

“For the last year and a half we have been actively looking for a center to accommodate our current and future growth. After looking at about a dozen properties, we found a gem on Belleair Road. Not only is it centrally located but the huge lot will also allow us to expand in the future,” said Rabbi Hodakov.

“To the Jews of the area I say, Chabad is here to stay until the coming of Moshiach.”

“I envision the new center serving, albeit on a smaller scale, of a JCC, which we sorely lack in the area. We will be open daily. Whether someone wants to come in and grab a cup of coffee, browse our vast Judaic or video library, shmooze with the Rabbi, don Tefillin, or attend a class or lunch and learn, everyone will be welcome,” Rabbi Hodakov said. “We will also embark on programming for seniors, teens, families and singles and begin to hold services on Shabbat.”

“Another thing I hear a lot is, Rabbi, we would keep Kosher if it were readily available,” he said. To that end Chabad is planning on opening a Kosher store on their new campus.

“Chabad is for every Jew. A person’s level of observance is never a prerequisite to participating in our programs,” said Rabbi Hodakov.

The property is at 2280 Belleair Road, just east of Belcher Road. Numerous sponsorship and dedications are still available. For more information, go to or call (727) 265-2770.

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