With the eyes of the world on this iconic Shul, Lubavitchers around the world are joining an effort to restore its cleanliness and beauty.
Of the thousands who visit the Rebbe’s Shul each year, many are surprised by the sense of awe, yearning or connection that they feel.
But there’s often another part of the experience that they do not expect:
Stacks of seforim piled high with missing covers and torn pages. Overstuffed coat racks. Peeling paint. Worn and shaking benches.
“Is this really the world center of Chabad-Lubavitch?”
With hundreds davening here daily and thousands visiting each month, a new campaign invites Anash worldwide to help preserve and improve 770.
According to YY Kratz, the shul’s dynamic building manager, few people know the costs of running an international Shul—24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
“Just reshelving Seforim every day costs about $60,000 a year,” he offers as an example. “Repairing and replacing torn Siddurim is thousands more.”
At 770for770.com, donors are encouraged to give a token amount to respect, restore and elevate what the Rebbe referred to as the “Beis Hamikdash in Exile.”
Kratz says an average year of cleaning and minor repairs such as paint touch-ups and door replacements reaches $400,000. A fraction of that is raised through the sale of seats and aliya donations.
Speaking from Los Angeles, a businessman involved in the campaign says he noticed the need after watching the livestream of Sholom Mordechai Rubashkin coming home to 770.
“Here you have the greatest joy, 770 is filled with an energy like in days bygone, and behind this scene of pure beauty is a nice big crack in the wall. We can do better for our Rebbe’s shul. ‘Eyes on 770’ is an important start.”
At 770for770.com, you can be one of 770 donors in each of three essential categories:
Respect 770 – $36: Basic cleaning and reshelving
Repair 770 – $50: Remove Shaimos, fix broken benches
Restore 770 – $100: Touch up paint, wax and polish floor
Those able to take a greater part in this effort, can join the drive to:
Replace – $180: Upgrade benches and dividers for daily minyanim
Renovate – $770: Expand and build.
Donors of $50 and above can choose to display their dedication on sleek new screens near both the main shul entryway and the western (driveway) entryway. Options include the Hebrew date to dedicate, and a message in memory or honor.
The campaign runs from now until Rosh Hashanah, at 770for770.com. Donations may be made with US, European and Israeli credit cards as well as others.
“One donor a day, one day at a time,” Kratz says, we can rededicate ourselves to maintaining the splendor of our Rebbe’s shul.