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Appeared in the CVIANEWS Volume XXIV - WINTER 2011
Chabad opens in Cole Valley

Rabbi Nosson and Chaya Potash together with their seven
month old son, Menachem Mendel have recently moved in to Cole
Valley and have been connecting and sharing the Jewish heritage
with the community.
Nosson spent his formative years in London. Chaya grew up
here in San Francisco. They met in New York where Nosson was
ordained as a Rabbi and led the Congregation Zichron Moshe in
Manhattan. “Since moving to San Francisco, I have met so many
friendly people, it is just fantastic,” says Nosson. But for Chaya,
who grew up here, this is just the norm. “San Francisco is like a big
city and a village at the same time,” she says.
Chabad is an acronym for wisdom, knowledge, and understanding.
This represents bringing the Torah and its teachings to all levels
of understanding. “We care for every single Jew regardless of background, level of practice, or knowledge of Judaism,” says Nosson. 
Chabad is the largest Jewish organization of its kind. With more than 3500 local Jewish community centers across the globe, Chabad’s success is based on the fact that Chabad is not a particular brand of Judaism, but rather a basic philosophy embracing all Jews. They believe in the importance of each individual and the significance of every single good deed.
Since the Potashs arrived in Cole Valley they have hosted spirited
Friday night Shabbat dinners at their home on Parnassus and a
NorCal Kosher wine tasting event. Other events such as a Chanukah
public menorah lighting and other family programs are in the works.
Participants vary greatly in degrees of observance yet they all
come together and share a common bond of heritage, and friendship.
Everyone is welcome. They expect no special knowledge from partakers, only a love of Judaism. They are there to facilitate a platform for Jewish life and expression in the neighborhood. At Chabad they are acutely aware of the needs of people that are unfortunately so often overlooked. One of the first things they did when they got here, was to volunteer at Laguna Honda Hospital and other senior homes to help in whichever way they could.
Chabad of Cole Valley does not receive any funds from Chabad
regional and national headquarters. One hundred percent of funds
donated to Chabad are directed back into the community. Chabad of Cole Valley is a recognized 501(c)3 organization. To get involved or volunteer for helping those in need please email [email protected] or visit Rabbi Potash can be also be contacted at (415) 598-8718.