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Tears and Joy in Basel

Thursday, 19 April, 2012 - 6:22 pm


This week I attended a very touching event. Whoever was there had tears in their eyes and at the same time an incredible feeling of joy.

It was this past Monday evening in Basel. I was invited by my good friends and colleagues, Rabbi Zalmen and Devora Wishedsky, the Chabad representatives in Basel, to participate in a very happy occasion; The inauguration of their new Chabad Center, which holds an impressive synagogue and beautiful Community Center.

Chabad is active in Basel for about 12 years, and there was a strong need to find a suitable place for a community center to host all the various Chabad activities. It was a very difficult project. Especially since you surely know, that Chabad in each place is financed solely by local supporters. Chabad International Headquarters would not be able to bear the burden of funding the thousands of branches worldwide.

For Basel the answer came in the form of a G-dly messenger, a very special Jew – Mr. Shmuel Rohr. 

Mr. Rohr does not live in Basel today, but in the Jewish State – Florida. However, about 65 years ago, Mr. Rohr was a resident of Basel. A resident?! Not exactly! He was actually a war refugee, who came to Basel by himself after escaping from Berlin. In Basel he was taken in by a local Jewish family, Family Feldinger, who gave him a warm home and loved, and raised him as their own son.

Now, over 60 years later, Mr. Rohr, who over the years became a well known philanthropist, decided to give back to the Jewish Community of Basel by sponsoring a Chabad Center for the community in the name of the Feldinger Family.

And so, this week, after more than sixty years since he has left Basel as a young refugee, Mr. Rohr returned for the first time! He cut the red ribbon at the entrance of the new Chabad Center, which was bought and renovated through his donation. He walked in glowing of happiness. It was an amazing scene, and there were tears of joy and happiness on many faces during the ceremony.

Mazal Tov Rabbi Zalmen and Devorah Wishedsky on your new Center. May you have lots of success in all your work in Basel.

We hope to follow in your footsteps soon :-)

Rabbi Chaim 


in the picture:
Mr. Sami Rohr enters the new facility with its director, Rabbi Zalmen Wishedski.  

Comments on: Tears and Joy in Basel

Alex wrote...

what a moving story

Paxilfak wrote...

chaste plase efef check-up