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We’re Being Evicted?! But Why?

Thursday, 9 January, 2020 - 2:03 pm

 Almost two years ago, on February 14, 2018, I received a notice that we had 30 days to vacate our Chabad center. We had been occupying our Chabad center for 10 years, where we had established a thriving Chabad center and preschool. The eviction notice caught me entirely by surprise and I consulted with lawyers as to our options.

It soon became apparent that this was the work of a disgruntled neighbor who disliked children and had used every opportunity to undermine us from day one. As the saying goes, “Every good rabbi must have an enemy combatant,” and we certainly had ours.

There is nothing in this world that is not Divinely ordained. Everything comes from G-d, even an eviction notice from a disgruntled neighbor.

And so I asked myself, what does G-d want?

Now, although we had established a thriving preschool, we had also run out of space. Every year we had to turn away many families whom we simply could not accommodate. And every year we’d been telling ourselves we need to move, but with Manhattan prices and the dearth of available spaces, finding a place was next to impossible. In fact, I wasn’t even sure which was harder—finding the money or finding an appropriate space! Neither seemed doable.

But when this eviction notice and subsequent lawsuit came, we had to take a closer look and ask ourselves what G-d really wants. And it was clear that the time had come to search aggressively.

So I called our trusted broker, and told her we need to find something ASAP. And guess what? We started re-examining spaces that we would have dismissed previously. We eventually found a place that had issues, but could work. Had we not been facing a pending lawsuit, we would have never negotiated so aggressively, and we most certainly would not have signed the deal.

It took us 10 months to locate a space and negotiate the lease, and another 14 months to do the construction and receive the permits. Thank G-d we were blessed with incredible friends—architects, lawyers, expeditors, and contractors. And through it all we’ve been in court, negotiating.

But not for one second did we think that this was anything but the work of G-d. Even when we were forced to make tough decisions and compromises, we knew it was all from G-d. His messengers come in mysterious ways!

Was the lawsuit a bother? Absolutely! Was it a pain in the neck? For sure. Was it a headache? An aggravation? Most definitely. But there is also no way we would have pushed ourselves so hard to work through this exhausting process to find a new space had we not been forced.

And the result? Well, it’s been two years and we have finally received our final permits. It’s brand new, state of the art, and built exactly the way we wanted. Best of all, it’s double the size we had until now, which means we can accommodate so many families we previously had to turn away.

We look forward to sharing many occasions and blessings in our new facility, at 1766 2nd Ave.

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