New Chabad Center for Ritzy Parioli

by S. Olidort - PARIOLI, ITALY

August 2, 2002

(Parioli, Italy) — This prestigious, upper class Rome neighborhood, home to some 300 Jewish families, will now have its own Chabad-Lubavitch center.

Rabbi and Mrs. Aaron Isaac Benjaminson of New York, are due to arrive in Parioli next week, where they have plans to launch a whole range of Jewish educational programs.

A local minyan, adult education, youth programs, and the gamut of Chabad-Lubavitch trademark programs such as the Rosh Hashana shofar factory for children are all in the works. "Jews in Rome are thirsting for greater exposure to Judaism. Many here have never been exposed to traditional Torah Judaism so we've got a lot of work ahead of us that we're very excited about," says Chani Benjaminson. Chani is a native of Rome and the daughter of Rabbi Yitzchok Hazan, Director of Chabad-Lubavitch activities in Rome.

With an increasing number of families settling in this up-and-coming neighborhood which boasts the most spacious apartments in Rome, the Benjaminsons' plans include a midwinter Shabbaton for teens, parenting sessions, weekly parshah classes for adults and monthly Rosh Chodesh gatherings for women. A family Shabbaton is already in the making for the post High Holiday season, at which the Chief Rabbi of Rome, Riccardo Shmuel Di Segni will speak.

"People keep asking me when the new Chabad couple will be settling in. The Jewish community there is really looking forward to growing and learning together with Chabad," says Rabbi Hazan.

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