Updates - Chabad of the North Peninsula
« Back to Chabad of the North Peninsula



Grand Opening!

 Baruch Hashem...Shecheyanu V'kimanu Vihigianu Lazman Hazeh! 

 The day we have awaited for many years is finally here! 

The Grand Opening of the Lent Chabad Center will be on:

 Sunday, October 2nd, 3:00-5:00 pm

To RSVP, visit Chabadnp.com/Grand  Grand Opening FB.png

Steel Frame Complete!

Have you driven by the construction site lately? BH, the construction is coming along beautifully!  Last week, we reached a major milestone when the final steel beam was placed atop the structure completing the entire steel frame of the building. 

Please enjoy these photos of the event. We hope you have a chance to walk or drive by to see the wonderful progress. 


Heartwarming to have a our senior preschool class look on as the highest beam is raised!


Project advisor Mr. Michael Adler catches up with the crew


Rabbi Yossi shares words of Torah, tying the raising of the beam to the history of the day, the first of Elul, when Moses ascended on high to receive the Tablets

BeamSigningChabadNP-12.jpgBeamSigningChabadNP-51.jpgBeamSigningChabadNP-57.jpgBeamSigningChabadNP-46.jpg BeamSigningChabadNP-14.jpg

Demolition has Begun!

 The long awaited moment has finally arrived! The beginning of construction began with the demolition of the three houses and took just a few hours. During the following days, the rubble will be cleared and hauled away, and the site prepped for soil removal. 

Yossi and Yaakov.jpg 

Demolition Mess.jpg 

San Mateo getting new synagogue, preschool

By Anna Schuessler, Daily Journal staff 

San Mateo getting new synagogue, preschool

Downtown site to become home to Chabad North Peninsula’s campus

After more than 17 years of moving from one rented space to another, the synagogue and preschool provided by Chabad North Peninsula are soon to have a permanent home.

Having started in 2001 Chabad North Peninsula’s first center out of an apartment on Third Avenue across the street from San Mateo’s Main Library, Rabbi Yossi Marcus and his wife and co-director Esty Marcus have long dreamed of creating a permanent home for the vibrant Jewish community they have helped foster on the Peninsula.

Expected to replace three single-family structures with a two-story building featuring six classrooms and a multi-purpose room serving as a sanctuary space, among other features, Chabad North Peninsula’s new campus in downtown San Mateo will not only allow the organization to improve and expand its programs but also build a community around a physical, spiritual home, said Yossi Marcus.

“The physical space is important,” he said. “People come to it and people know this is a designated space for spirituality, community and transcendence.”

Yossi Marcus said plans to build a home for the synagogue and preschool he and his wife started have been the works for years, noting the preschool filled to capacity just a few years after they opened its doors.He said it was challenging to find a property in San Mateo large enough to accommodate a playground, building and parking at a site close enough to where the community’s congregants live so they could walk to the synagogue on the Sabbath.

Serving some 60 students in four classrooms located in a converted office space currently, the Chai Preschool has had a lengthy waiting list for years, noted Esty Marcus, who is also the preschool’s director. Having developed a unique teaching approach through mentoring by Stanford’sBing Nursery School and in alignment with the Reggio Emilia education movement, she looked forward to the new building’s integration with its surrounding environment and the opportunity to teach students indoors and outdoors in the two playgrounds that will be included on the site.Esty Marcus also expressed excitement at the opportunity to expand the number of students the preschool can serve to some 100 students.

By providing a large space where students’ parents can come together as a community, the new center will offer more opportunities for those visiting the space to get to know each other, she added. Though the preschool is Jewish, Esty Marcus said the school is open to students of all backgrounds, noting the students’ families are representative of the Bay Area’s diversity.

As an orthodox-run synagogue, Jewish traditions as they’ve been kept for thousands of years will be followed in the space, noted Yossi Marcus. But he said those who visit the synagogue won’t be asked what they ate for breakfast or to commit to anything, adding the focus is to educate others and demonstrate how the traditions are followed.

“When you walk in the door, you’re our guest,” he said. “We ourselves are very committed to the tradition. We model it, but we don’t judge anybody who has not been raised in that way.”

With many seniors living near the center and a part of the Chabad North Peninsula community, the new campus will also offer opportunities for intergenerational programs, he added.

Esty Marcus said she and her husband have been working to find a spot for Chabad North Peninsula’s first permanent home for more than 13 years, adding it’s been a dream come true to see their plans come to life.

“I’m just really excited to be offering this to our next generation of children,” she said. “I think that it’s going to be really incredible.”

March 14, 2019


What an awesome evening this past Sunday. "The best gala I've been to in my life" was heard from veteran gala goers. 

"The energy in the ballroom was electric, moving and full of warmth. From Tali and Saul’s rendition of Hallelukah, to the young adults and children’s stories, to the keynote, to the video montages, to showcasing our honorees  – so much love was shown in thundering applause and standing ovations."

The incredible success of the event and the $300k raised is thanks to the hard work and dedication of our campaign director Valerie Porush Hoffman, campaign chair Rachel Zubaty, Chai director Esty Marcus, our host committee, and our dedicated staff and volunteers.

Please enjoy the pictures: Chabad Gala Pics  password: chai.

Wishing you Shabbat Shalom,

Rabbi Yossi

December 13, 2018

Dear Friends,

Thank G-d, we have much to celebrate.
Last week, our dear friends Barbi and Warren Lazarow committed to a magnificent gift of $750,000 to dedicate the Social Hall naming. On behalf of everyone in our community who will enjoy simchas, public lectures and so much more within the walls of the social hall -- we thank you!
We are also excited to announce the honorees for our Growing Together Benefit Dinner:
  • Fran and Bobby Lent | Visionary Award
  • Nomi and Michael Moradzadeh | Leadership Award
  • Chai Teacher Rhonda Gamblin | Educator Award
  • Chai Teacher Lilach Mousseiri | Educator Award 
We feel privileged to honor these visionaries, leaders, and educators as we gather to raise support for our new center for Jewish life.
Please mark Sunday, March 10 at 6:00 pm on your calendar and join us for a festive, uplifting night supporting the Capital Campaign. You'll enjoy Wendy Kleckner's fine kosher cuisine, Jewish music and soulful stories.
Lastly, after months of work we are unveiling our Growing Together website, which we will continually update with new gifts, new building benchmarks, and the like. I invite you to take a look at www.chabadnp.com/future.
Hoping you had a wonderful Chanukah and wishing you Shabbat shalom,
Rabbi Yossi
PS We had a wonderful Chanukah with many events serving young and old, including over 400 people at our Burlingame celebration. Please check out the pics below. 
PPS Hope you'll join us for Shabbat Dinner Mexican Style, January 11th. See below for details


As we head into Thanksgiving, we want to take a moment to express our gratitude to you and every member of our supportive and nurturing community. Thank you for your unwavering support and for getting us to the point in our history when we can finally build our permanent home. Your enthusiasm for this project and our Growing Together Capital Campaign has been overwhelmingly gratifying. Thank you!

Here are some exciting announcements we’d like to share with you about our building campaign:

  • Our Growing Together Benefit Dinner on Sunday, March 10 will be at the newest luxury hotel on the Peninsula –  the Hotel Nia. This will be one of those nights you won’t want to miss. We promise an inspiring and festive evening that will celebrate our community and our future. So save the date now. Registration will open in January.

    image 1.png 
  • This past Monday, we had a heartwarming evening where over thirty Chai Alumni parents came together to reflect on their time at Chai and to learn more about the building project. A big thank you to Rebecca and David Rodnitzky for hosting this Alumni Reunion event.
  • Finally, we have so many generous donors to thank and we want to highlight our most recent gift at the $100,000 level – thank you to Adrienne and David Weil for dedicating this meaningful gift to what will be the Crembo Cafe and Bakery. 
  • We extend our deep gratitude to all who have so generously contributed.


Let me begin by wishing all of us a hearty Mazal Tov! After many years of working with architects to find a suitable property, designing the building and going through the appropriate steps with the city’s Planning Commission, our project was approved unanimously by the commission this past Tuesday. Our permanent preschool, education center, community gathering place and spiritual home is now official!

We were advised to keep the turnout low, but I wish each of you could have been at City Hall to experience the euphoria of being approved and to hear the overwhelming excitement each commissioner has for our project. Below are some photos from the meeting depicting members of our community advocating for our Center for Jewish Life.

image 2.png 

We could not have achieved this without the support of our talented architectural firm STUDIO BONDY, our project manager Valerie Veronin, and the professionals who gave freely of their time and advice to help us along the way: Maury Alcheck, Gary Cohn, Andy Fradkin, Jack Hirsch, Ron Karp, Steve Karp, Dan Saffier, David Saxe, Peter Shaffer, Larry Schlenoff, Shawn Silk, Josh Smith, Bob Tessler, Kevin Waldman, and Ken Wornick. A very special thanks to Michael Adler, who has been of critical assistance in shepherding us through this difficult and lengthy process.

And thank you to each and every one of you who have given us the strength and excitement to persevere. I can’t think of a better way to end 5778 and welcome the new year!

image 3.png 

Below please read more exciting news about our Growing Together campaign and the demonstrated leadership of other members of our community. Together, from seeds to branches, we are building and growing our community’s future. We thank you deeply for this and look forward to sharing more good news.

Untitled 4.png 

We are so grateful and blessed to share these updates with you.

We are excited to announce a save-the-date for our Growing Together Gala on Sunday, March 10, 2019.

We are very excited to welcome Rachel Zubaty as our Capital Campaign Chair. Rachel is both a Chai Preschool parent and an active member of our Shul. Rachel continually proves her leadership, dedication and passion for Chabad, Chai and our Jewish community at large.  This past year, she co-chaired the Chai Preschool fundraiser and every year since her eldest child started at Chai, she has served on our Chai Preschool fundraising committee. We are so fortunate to have Rachel as a pillar of our community. Please help me in welcoming Rachel to this important position.

To learn more about how to join these individuals and take part in this historic effort, please contact Rabbi Yossi Marcus at [email protected].

Untitled 5.png 

AUGUST 17 2018

We thank Bobby and Fran Lent for their inspiringly generous lead gift of $6,000,000, without which this project would not have been possible.

We are so grateful and blessed to share these updates with you.

  • In the last few weeks, a very generous gift:
    • Anonymous gift in memory of Eva Charnov Lokey for $1,500,000 for the Chai Preschool dedication
  • We are excited to announce and welcome our Capital Campaign Director Valerie Porush Hoffman, member of the shul and Chai Preschool parent.

To learn more about how to join these individuals and take part in this historic effort, please contact Rabbi Yossi Marcus at [email protected].

Looking for older posts? See the sidebar for the Archive.