When Starbucks on South Ashland’s busy Siskiyou street—just off Southern Oregon University’s campus—chose not to renew its lease last April, students, faculty and local residents were left with one less dig for hanging out and getting a late night caffeine boost.
The vacancy and the void was soon noticed by Chabad of Ashland, which moved quickly. With the help of the George and Pamela Rohr Family Foundation and some 200 local community members they acquired the place. South Ashland is buzzing with curiosity about the new Chabad facility, ideally situated, and long overdue.
Rabbi Avi and Faigy Zwiebel have been serving Ashland’s Jewish community since 2003, leading most of their popular activities and programs out of their home. The new building, says Rabbi Zwiebel, is “heaven-sent.”
“We get people coming to our programs from a radius of 200 miles”—which is the distance you’d travel for the nearest Jewish community. Finally having a place of their own will allow Chabad to grow many of the programs they’ve introduced to this community and serve even more people.
And for those who come looking for a triple venti, half-sweet caramel macchiato? Chabad thought of that. During weekdays, the new Chabad center will offer coffee and couches for students and passersby, a place to meet other Jewish students and residents, and perhaps sit down for an impromptu chat with the rabbi.