New rabbi in town
By Nick Bensen  May 19 2012

With a downtown makeover, major retail development and a population now about 55,000, Novato has changed a lot in recent years. One thing the city lacked until now was a place of worship for its Jewish residents.

Rabbi Menachem Landa, 26, and his wife, Adina, recently established Chabad of Novato, a community for all Jewish people — unaffiliated, Reform, Conservative or Orthodox. Originally from Montreal, Canada, Rabbi Landa comes to Novato via Brooklyn, Miami and Los Angeles. Adina Landa is a native of San Diego.

"Novato seemed like the perfect fit," Rabbi Landa said. "It has a large Jewish population (several thousand), yet no Jewish center to meet their needs."

He added that he is excited about relocating to Marin due to the county's weather, natural beauty, strong sense of community and friendly people.

"We are honored to be a part of Novato, and privileged to open a Jewish center," Landa said. "The warm reception we received in the past two months from the residents (both Jews and non Jews) has been incredible."

Chabad of Novato, located in Novato, celebrates the holiday of Shavuot at 10 a.m. May 27. The center also offers classes on subjects including Hebrew, Kabbala, the Talmud, prayer and kosher cooking as well as programs for children.

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