deborah ress.jpg Not Alone. You Were There For Me
by Deborah R.

Have you ever had an experience where exactly what you needed most came into your life at exactly the right moment? I just had that experience.

I live alone. I am elderly. I have health issues that made the current pandemic extremely difficult for me to handle. My finances have been hit very hard. My phone was turned off because I couldn't pay my bills.

Last week, I received a knock on my door. Rabbi Landa was standing there with a big smile beneath his blue mask. He had been trying to reach me but since my phone was off, he came in person to visit. He handed me a $400 check to help me with my current bill.

It's hard to put into words how grateful I feel. Yes, for this incredible gesture of generosity and caring. But even more, just knowing that there's a Jewish community right here, with loving leaders, that care about me. Life is less lonely and less challenging just knowing that.

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3.pngIs it Happenstance or is it Hashem?
by Andrea Tobor

In November of 2014, my dear father, OBM,  returned home from a long stay in a rehabilitation center in Marin County. He was still almost inconsolable after the loss of his beloved life partner (my mom, OBM) 8 months before. After getting him settled I set about the task of looking through his mail. Only bills and one large postcard requesting we all join the Chabad Family of Novato for the “Grand Menorah Lighting”.  My first thought was, “There are Jews in Novato”? My second thought was, “Why did the caregivers not throw out this postcard that could easily have been mistaken for an advert?”.  Hmmmmmm. 

I saved the postcard hoping to join the Chabad of Novato for the Menorah lighting, however, unfortunately could not. Little over a week later my father lapsed into what could only be described as a self-induced coma.  My son, who had taken care of his Grandparents and managed their caregivers for well over 2 years told me, “Mom, we have done everything we can for Grandpa physically but he and all of us need to speak to someone spiritually.”  Both my children are grown adults so I knew if my son was asking for this support it was seriously needed.

I remembered the postcard and immediately wrote an email to Rabbi Landa (whom I did not know at that time) appraising him of our situation.  He wrote back within 30 minutes and said he would be happy to come over to see my Father and speak with my children and I.  He was at my Father’s home in Novato within the hour – we were all there.   I remember this day well, most particularly the comfort I received simply listening to the Rabbi praying over my Father’s bedside and speaking with my children for over an hour. Rabbi Landa, or Menachem as we call him now, did not rush through his time with us, he was patient and reassuring with my children and myself.  Before leaving, he asked if my son wanted to lay tefillin (something my son had never done before). My son said yes and he and Rabbi Menachem went outside.  I thought for sure my son would be overwhelmed laying tefillin, however, when he returned to the house he said he loved the experience and that the Rabbi had explained everything to him putting the act of laying tefillin in context for him.

My dear Father passed a mere week after the Rabbi’s visit.  I asked Rabbi (Menachem) Landa to conduct the service to bury my Father which he agreed to do. If it can be said a funeral service was lovely  - my Father’s service was indeed lovely -  made so by our dear Rabbi Landa.  He came to my house for Shiva and upon learning I didn’t know 10 Jewish men in the Bay Area for a minyan, he put the word out to the Chabad family and within 30 minutes we had our minyan.

He comforted us all during the period of Shiva and has been my and my family’s comfort ever since. I often wonder if finding his postcard inviting us to the Grand Menorah lightning was happenstance or perhaps did HaShem have something to do with bringing Rabbi Landa into our lives at the exact moment when his spiritual guidance was most needed.

From that day forward I have enjoyed celebrating Shabbat, the Jewish holidays, lectures, classes, films, events etc with the Rabbi, the Rebbetzin, their family and members of the Chabad of Novato home. They have truly brought a sense of Jewish yiddishkeit to the Bay area – accepting everyone into the Chabad family, no matter how they practice, or don’t practice, Judaism. Together Menachem and Adina Landa and their children have a life pattern that supports Tikum Olum and we are blessed to have them in Bay Area as our emissaries.

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merkwan.jpg"I've been searching for meaning, and I found exactly what I needed when I was introduced to Rabbi Landa and his Chabad. Between his Torah classes and his new Torah podcast, I feel whole again."

-Yakov Mekwan

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jeff katz family.jpg"Thank you for honoring me, my family, and the memory of my father. Never, in all these years (until now) have I felt the love and the embrace from a Rabbi and his family, a Community, and a Congregation."

-Jeff Katz & Family

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michael mendelson.JPG"I was in need of financial and spiritual assistance recently and chabad was there for me. it made a huge difference in my quality of life. The Landas continue to be role models for me in devotion, dedication, friendship, and parenting."

-Michael Mendelson

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landa family aug 20.jpg

Your Love...Right Now!

What is happening in the world right now?
Right now, I am thinking of tens of individuals who are in difficult situations at home, needing guidance and help.

Right now, people are looking for connection, and struggling with isolation.
Right now they are joining virtual Jewish learning classes and checking in to support each other, as we Jews always do.
Right now is testimony to the strength of the Novato Chabad community.
Right now...is testimony that AM YISRAEL CHAI!
You are that testimony.

Right now they are joining virtual Jewish learning classes and checking in to support each other, as we Jews always do.
Right now is testimony to the strength of the Novato Chabad community.
Right now...is testimony that AM YISRAEL CHAI!


 You are that testimony.

In This Together. Warmly,
Rabbi Menachem & Adina Landa