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See Donor Impact Report 2020 Q2 Here>>>>
See Donor Impact Report 2020 Q3 Here>>>
Donor Appreciation Report Winter 2021 Here>>>
Donor Impact Report Summer 2021 Here>>>
Donor Impact Report Fall 2021 Here>>>

 

LETTER FROM
Rabbi & Rebbetzin

Shalom!

Your friendship warms my soul. I hope you enjoy reading this appreciation newsletter, where you can see first-hand the impact you have on so many lives.

You help countless individuals powerfully engage, feel connected, and at home. Not only that, but you have provided a permanent home.

Because of you they feel that they can proudly put a mezuzah on their doorpost, explore their meaningful heritage, join exciting immersive experiences and feel the warmth of their Chabad family.

You give courage, strength and inspiration to Jews across Marin. Thank you for caring.

You have created a REAL Miracle in Marin. You did it. We did it.
L’chaim!

Rabbi Menachem & Adina Landa

 

   

You Ignited Me, by Ya Ya

Before I met Chabad of Novato, I was a Tibetan Buddhist for over 20 years, I called myself a “JewBu.”  

My teacher passed away and there wasn’t a substitute for me. My own spiritual practice wasn’t strong enough to keep me going.

It faded.

I was in a period of fading down, and I didn’t know how to energize my spirituality. 

I happened upon the Chabad Jewish Center of Novato and the sign above the door caught my eye. It was perky, spring-like, cheerful and modern. Right away, I thought there’s something here. 

That’s what YOU have done for me. You gave me back my spirituality ... but even more than that, you brought me back to my core identity.

I came to hear Holocaust Survivor - Sami Steigman - share his story and was struck by his positivity.

I met another local woman, Shirah, who was so warm and welcoming and went the extra 9 yards for me. She also invited me for a Shabbat dinner with her. 

I remember her saying to me, “This is a Rabbi who really cares.” She was impressed by his depth of concern for all human beings. 

I went from curiosity to being embraced and included. Despite having no money, Adina warmly included me and didn’t let that interfere.

My life has been impacted very positively in every way possible since the day I reached out, but one moment stands out in particular. 

By the Purim Megillah reading, the Rabbi announced that this is an auspicious time to give to someone in need. And then it hit - I am in need. I worked up the courage to say to Adina, “I could use some help.” Her response, “No worries, I’ll be right back.” She came back with a wad of bills and handed it to me.  I was moved to tears. 

From the first moment, I felt belonging. 

Not only that, I was able to give back and feel needed. I asked the Rabbi what I can do to help and he said, “Can you go to Sacramento and pic up 800 boxes of matzah?” I said yes right away and then he said, “Can you deliver them?” and I said yes.

Thus began some moments of connection that I will never forget. I had the opportunity to connect to so many individuals that the
Landas are already connected to. 

From when I rang the doorbell, I was showered with love from so many people. Many people were alone, and getting this warm gift and being able to share a little of their stories was so uplifting for both them and me.   

Your generosity and inclusion has touched me the most.  I was raised Reform. I can’t read Hebrew, and I remember Rabbi Landa
saying, “That doesn’t matter. You’re here now.” He was very receptive to hearing my needs. I felt ignited by the Rabbi’s joy.

I used to think of Chabad as some 18th century cult. Now, I see how the Rabbi and his family live and practice, with acceptance and joy, and I have only respect. I am so proud to be Jewish and to be a part of it. Drop your pretenses of what you think Chabad is and just go there.

Just join in. I’m glad I did. Thank you.


You are a gift, by Don Davidson

Back in 2012 when the Landas first moved to Novato, there was an article in the Novato Advance.  I sent Menachem a note welcoming him. We met at Dr. Insomniacs and the rest is history. I’ve been a friend and supporter ever since. 

I’ve had different phases and chapters where Chabad has really impacted me. When my deaf mom, may she rest in peace, was alive, the rabbi was very kind to her and took her under his wing. She loved seeing him, being a part of the Chanukah party at Whole Foods, and experiencing the joy of Judaism. When my wife, Bette, may she rest in peace, got sick, the Landas were there for us in every way. My kids were very fearful about what was to happen and Menachem came over a couple times and just sat with us.

That was by far the worst time in our lives. The warmth of having you help us through that excruciatingly difficult time was an
incredible gift. You lessened our pain.

And then just on a day to day basis, Chabad has really impacted me. I wasn’t praying daily and now I do. It’s become a cornerstone in my life. I'm a smorgasbord Jew and you have been very helpful for my own personal and spiritual growth. When you’re raising a family sometimes religion gets pushed to the back burner ... but when your kids leave and your life slows down you start to reflect and wonder what it's all about.  Chabad has been so helpful to me for that. I'm now far more committed than I ever was and I identify with my heritage so much more. 

Your approach is non-judgmental. Menachem will call me up and say can you come in for a minyan and I’ll say I'm busy,  I have a commitment. I don't feel like I'm being judged. That is huge to me. So many people are so judgmental; if it’s not their way they think they’re more pious, and I don’t like that. Here, I can show up and wear my hiking clothes and no one is going to judge me. I love the fact that it's so warm, and lively. I’ve made some pretty good friends through Chabad. I love going to classes and seeing the same people and saying hello.

I could see our new center as a hub for Jewish life and a focal point for Jews all around the Bay Area.  

You have a warm and welcoming environment. You offer something for everybody - senior, kids, young adults. The fact that you have created a real sense of community that didn’t exist in Novato, amazes me. Novato really needed a Jewish community and having Chabad here has been far more enriching for me than any other Jewish experience I’ve had.