Chabad of the Tri-Valley just had an ambitious 30 hours.
The 12-year-old center went on a roaring tear of a fundraiser to make — and overshoot — a target of $200,000 in less than three days, in order to finalize the purchase of a new building in Pleasanton.
“I’m really just overwhelmed, humbled and excited,” said Rabbi Raleigh Resnick.
For Resnick, the new building is the mark of just how much his Chabad has expanded, just like other Chabad centers that had humble beginnings in the living room of a rented house.
“The community has been growing exponentially,” said Resnick, who launched Chabad of the Tri-Valley in 2005 when he was 24 years old. The center’s Hebrew school now has more than 100 students enrolled and there’s a waiting list for its preschool, he added.
“We have literally no room to breathe,” he said. “We’re bursting at the seams.”
Chabad’s new facility was previously the Pleasanton Masonic Center, on Hopyard Road less than two miles from the Alameda County Fairgrounds. With 8,000 square feet and two acres, the building and grounds will be big enough for all the programming overseen by Resnick and his wife, Fruma. Renovation plans include a kitchen for kosher catering, a mikvah, a library, a Judaica store, a Holocaust memorial center and a teen lounge.
All that will be on top of a big multipurpose room and all the space Chabad needs not only for its existing programs — such as robust education offerings for adults, teens and children — but also for more cutting-edge endeavors, such as Resnick’s kosher wine-making operation.
For the past 3½ years, Chabad has held its programs in a leased space a Pleasanton business park, while renting bigger spaces, such as the Masonic center, for some events.
The 30-hour fundraiser used matching grants from a local couple, Neal and Denise Newman, as well as from Chabad International. The nearly $230,000 raised was the final piece of the puzzle in buying the building, which needs renovation beyond its $2.5 million price tag. Resnick said the transaction is in escrow and he expects closing to occur in a month.
More than just money, the fundraiser showed Resnick just how much people in and around Pleasanton, Danville, San Ramon and Livermore value Chabad, all the way down to the youngest members of the community.
“One kid came over to my house with $60 cash,” he said.
And that community support, he said, is incredibly empowering.
“It gives you a lot of confidence and courage,” Resnick said.