Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

New Chabad Center in Ghana

For the past three years Rabbi Noach Majesky, brother of Rabbi Yanky Majesky, has been the cantor at Chabad of North Orlando during the High Holidays. This year and for many years hereafter, Rabbi Noach will lead the High Holiday as well as all the services in Accra, Ghana. He and his wife, Alti and three children will be moving this summer from Crown Heights, N.Y., to establish a new Chabad Center to serve the needs of the local Jewish community and tourists.

The establishment of Chabad in Ghana is the direct result of 23 years of work Rabbi Shlomo Bentolia, the head Shliach (messenger), invested in the area. After having sent Bachurim (rabbinical students) to cities across Central Africa for the past 20 years for the High Holiday and Pesach services, community members requested a full time rabbi. Rabbi Bentolila, and Rabbi Moshe Kotlarsky, vice chairman of Merkos Linyonei Chinuch (the educational arm of the Chabad movement) appointed Majesky to the position of Shliach in Accra. Currently, two other Shluchim families serve in Central Africa: Rabbi and Mrs. Yisrael Uzan in Abuja, Nigeria and Rabbi and Mrs. Levi Checkly in Luanda, Angola.

Majesky is very happy about the appointment and, like his brother Yanky, he is full of enthusiasm about this opportunity, which he plans to stay in "as long as a need exists," he said. His wife, Alti, is also excited about the appointment, even though it means giving up a career as principal of Judaic Studies at Beis Yaakov Ohel Sara in Brooklyn, N.Y. She has always wanted to be a shlucha and open a Chabad Center of her own.

Rabbi Noach is familiar with working far from Crown Heights. He has worked in Paris, Frankfurt, Toronto and NYC organizing programs and facilitating religious services. As a couple, the Majeskys agreed a few years ago that they did not want to settle in Brooklyn. They never imagined they'd be going this far from home.

Ghana is a peaceful country, Majesky said. The language is English, so he and his family will have no problem communicating with the citizens, most of whom were sent from other countries to work at oil refineries or for construction companies.

The country is about 80 percent Christian and there are approximately 100 Jewish families in the area that Majesky will serve.

One reason he is so enthusiastic is because Majesky sees the great needs of the Jewish people residing in Ghana. While Central Florida Jews can attend any shul they wish, find kosher food or children's religious school programs, there is nothing for the Jewish families in Ghana.

Last Pesach, his whole family went to Ghana for two weeks with 15 suitcases. Only three were for the family's clothing and personal items. The other 12 were filled with kosher food and wine.

Majesky hopes to create a Chabad Center that has everything from programs for children to kosher meats and foods (Majesky is trained in ritual slaughter), and to bring the message of love and happiness to the world.

The Majeskys plan to leave New York within the month and are in the midst of raising funds for their center and are appreciative of any financial help given. If you would like to contribute, send your donation to rabbi@jewishghana.org.


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