C.A.Y. Congregants Rise to the Occasion

After signing a lease on a new place to permanently house their congregation last February, Chevra Ahavas Yisroel was given until May 14 to finalize the purchase – and come up with the $150,000 down payment. But when that day rolled around, the Shul leaders found themselves with only $30,000 in the bank.

Determined not to miss this golden opportunity to own a home of its own, the Shul requested an extension from the seller. They were given two weeks.

Rabbi Chezzy Denebeim immediately sent out an urgent appeal to all the Shul’s friends and congregants – 472 in total – saying if each and every one committed to a mere $255 donation, the building would be theirs. He had no idea what was in store.

The response was swift and overwhelming. Within 3 hours $12,000 had been pledged. By the next morning, the number rose to $23,000. Today – two days later – they reached $60,000, leaving them with $90,000 in total. Donations flooded in by phone and e-mail, as well as through the Shul’s blog.

“This reinforces the commonly held notion that our Shul is an absolute necessity in this community,” said Rabbi Denebeim in an exclusive interview with Crownheights.info. “Our shul serves as a home to hundreds of local and non-local yidden, and we are so proud to be an integral part of the broader and very beautiful crown heights community.

He added with much excitement: “Our Shul is truly a grassroots movement; It’s ‘the people’s Shul!’ We managed to fundraise an incredible amount of money in such a short time, and not from a few wealthy donors – it’s from the regular folk in this community. We’ve decided to put the building dedication in the name of every person who donated to this initial fund. Everybody’s name will be on the wall! Could you imagine!? It’s because of the real strength that lies with the people.”

The Shul’s leaders feel confident that they will be able to finalize the purchase of the property, located at 306 Albany Ave. near Eastern Parkway, before the looming deadline, but they will have to maintain the current momentum in order to bring the Shul’s finances over the top.


  • 1. Southeside wrote:

    Im So Proud of the Chevra!

    Pledges and money pouring in to build a community based on torah tefila and gemilat chasadim!

  • 2. mendoza wrote:


  • 3. CAY davener wrote:

    Chezzi & Sima – “as water mirrors the face to the face, so does the heart of man to man.” our response is in direct relation to your efforts, caring, time, energy and who u r!

    we should only grow from here!

  • 4. Friend wrote:

    Yea! Hashem should bless you with everything! I hope everyone pays up and the shul can begin renovations immediately! R’ Chezzi you’re doing an incredible thing for our generation. Thank you for enabling us to be a part of it!

  • 5. melissa wrote:

    seeing such a unity is inspiring these are the most beautiful people a prime example for all of us to learn from I’m sure the great Reb shlomo is looking down and smiling at his children may the almighty god bless all of them with all of the blessings

  • 6. yitzchok c in Jerusalem wrote:

    Awesome! I have yet to visit your shul but I love you guys. Maayanot shul in Jerusalem sounds very similar to CAY and I love it and daven there every Shabbos. Will make sure to visit when im in crown heights next time iyh.

  • 7. not much else to say wrote:

    He added with much excitement: “Our Shul is truly a grassroots movement; It’s ‘the people’s Shul!’

    That’s what the Occupy Wall Street people said. And we all know what we think of those anarchists.


  • 8. Chanie wrote:

    Congrats!! You should go from strength to strengt, and light up Crown Heights with kedusha

  • 9. Mayer wrote:

    Perhaps this Carlbach style shul doesn’t Belong in Crown Heights that’s why the deal won’t happen anytime soon,

    look many of us also enjoy R’ Shlome Carlbach music & nigunim but if you want to daven his style then why don’t you go to the Carlbach shull in Manhattan for shabbos (79th st & amsterdam ave).

    BUT WHY do they need to do it in the Rebbes face, if the Rebbe would see this it would cause him much Agmas Nefesh…
    (Especially the way the woman hold the Havdalah Candles)

    Just watch they won’t get the building.

  • 10. jerry wrote:

    i believe this information is only partially correct. in their email they mention that the costs are not only for the down payment but also for consrtuction costs, insurance and other fees they have to pay.

    anyhow, kol ha’kavod!

  • 11. who will own it? wrote:

    will it belong to a board of chevra ahavas yisroel or to a private person like the rabbi.

    if so they are asking everyone to help him own a building in NYC thats worth a alot of money

  • 12. confused wrote:

    So they will be going from paying (rent) someone else’s mortgage to be paying the rabbi dennenbaum’s mortgage. and giving him his down payment.

  • 13. sad news wrote:

    such sweet well meaning jews, being led astray. i worry for their children. will they have to grow up thinking that carrying the sefer torah through the women’s section – is normal?!

  • 14. chaim wrote:

    “This reinforces the commonly held notion that our Shul is an absolute necessity in this community,” said Rabbi Denebeim in an exclusive interview with Crownheights.info.
    Pass me the sick bucket. This Carlebach Temple is a total disgrace. However, it perfectly represents what CH is turning into. It’s time for me to leave and find some religious Jews to hang out with.

  • 15. To All the haters! wrote:

    For all the older people in our community who have the square minded way of thinking.
    We are a younger generation that does not wish to fall into your old geezer politics, and instead of fighting with each other we choose to love one another.
    I can understand how this may be a revolutionary concept for you to compute.

  • 16. are you a hater also ? wrote:

    # 15.“” To All the haters!“” wrote:
    By the sound of your comment.. I was wondering where you looking in the mirror when you wrote this.

  • 19. CAY changed my life wrote:

    Besides the fact that CAY changed my life and many of these comments (mostly the negative ones) made me decide to double my giving to the shul and push extra hard to help them secure this building, a couple additional thoughts:
    @ #4 – “Sad News” … “Normal” is subjective. I think it’s beautiful!
    @ #5 – “Chaim” … Sorry you think so. Let us know where you move and we’ll send a postcard. In the meantime, just don’t let your kids go – and get over it.
    @ #6 – “Mayer” … It’s rather impressive you can speak/think for the rebbe. Youre comment in particular made me double my donation. Thanks for the inspiration.
    @ #7 – “Not Much” … HAHAHA. Yeah, that’s right. We’re the 99%. Bud did they have a common goal, end game, leadership, and organization. Nope.
    @ #16 – “Are You” … Seriously? Have you read through the hate-comments?

    To all of the people who support, let this be inspiration to double, tripple, exponentially increase our involvement to make this dream a reality. #Challa

  • 20. rational observer wrote:

    I was never there, and hope they have much success, but if the commenters writing that ther carrry Torah through ezras nashim and that they give the Havdalah candle to girls is true, I hope Chezzy Dennenbeim makes a real din v’chesbon (self assessment), that if the Rebbe walked into there would the Rebbe approve of their ways, and if the answer is no, they should adjust their hanhagos accordingly. Now that the shul exists, I don’t think that closing it would be more appropiate than just adjusting what needs to be adjusted if need be. I hope there is a truly chassidishe ROV guiding Chezzy in the shul’s hanhagos.

  • 21. Thank god wrote:

    new shul in crown heights thank god
    if you can make a better shul good luck to you

  • 22. to #15 wrote:

    from your tone and comments, it sounds like you’re quite the hater yourself, which would also make you then a hypocrite
    and it’s not just older people in this community who do not agree with things that go on at CAY

  • 23. Tsivia wrote:

    This comment will never be posted, but as a girl who grew up chabad–I felt completely alienated davening in shul. Shul isn’t just for men and the more women can be involved, the more committed we are in general. It is a shame that passing a sefer torah through the woman’s section is viewed as scandalous–it’s something that is a normal part of any chabad house service. And woe to those in the community who think CH doesn’t need a place with a chabad house mentality–just look at the droves of kids who left–and are leaving–the community. This shul is a place where the rebbe’s message of loving every Jew is expressed–in a real way.

  • 24. ironic wrote:

    its quite ironic that the name of the shull is “chevras ahavas yisrael” because judging from the above comments, theres definitely a lack of ahavas yisrael in ch.
    this shull is great, keep up the awesome work and continue inspiring others.

  • 25. GREAT JOB!!! wrote:

    GO GO GO GO!!!!!
    Amazing stuff – even though i’ve never been there yet.
    No need to answer back all those with annoying comments…

  • 27. Tanchum wrote:

    I saw all the rabbonim of the beth din attend CAY – so it’s a legit shul!

  • 28. chaim wrote:

    Save your money on the postcard and donate it to paying for this “Shul”. You’ll help bring down CH even quicker.

  • 29. chaim wrote:

    #22. You do not understand what a Chabad house is about. The people that go there have had little or no exposure to orthodox Judaism their entire lives, the very fact they are in Shul is an expression of them growing in their Yiddishkeit.

    Let us move onto CH, people grew up frum, went to Jewish schools, talk the talk and walk the walk. For such people to behave as if they are in a Chabad house, do you think that is increasing or decreasing their level of observance?

    Do you think men and women should next to each other in Shul as well? That is coming next I’m sure. (Can’t afford a mechitzah they say… Haha.)

  • 30. shloime freundlich wrote:

    The shul will belong to Rabbi Chezzy Denebeim , but Rabbi Chezzy Denebeim belongs to the pepole

  • 31. sam wrote:

    Yeah! Like Rebbetzin Chaya Mushka said: Everyting belongs to the hasidim


Comments are closed.