The Rebbe of the Jerusalem Vizhnitz community is seeking to establish a Vizhnitz community in Lakewood, New Jersey, which he plans to lead in the future.
The Vizhnitz Rebbe took over leadership after the passing of his father, the Vizhnitz Rebbe of Monsey zt”l, and has spent Shabbos and the High Holidays with his followers in Jerusalem, but the Rebbe wants to move the community to Lakewood, which seems to be the center of Chassidut in the United States.
A meeting was held in Boro Park, Brooklyn, last week to plan the move, according to Israeli newspaper BeChadarei Chareidim.
According to details of the meeting, there will be 66 apartments sold at a reduced price over the course of 18 months to Vizhnitz Chassidim who are coming to Lakewood. The community will be established in the Chassidic neighborhood of Lakewood, amongst other Chassidic groups, such as Satmar and Belz. There are plans to sell the apartments in advance, so that yeshiva students can take advantage of the opportunity with regards to the housing crisis. The project has already been funded and is starting implementation, to keep costs below $500,000.
The apartments themselves are two floors, each 242 square meters, and will include a living room, kitchen, dining room, bookroom, playroom, five bedrooms, and four bathrooms. Each apartment also has a 120 square meter basement. The planners emphasized that these apartments are of higher and better standards than regular apartments, without any higher costs.
Additionally, there will be room for a Passover kitchen, parquet floors instead of the usual Lakewood carpeted flooring, and there is the option of adding two rooms plus bathrooms in the 46 square meter attic, with a balcony. The stairs at the apartment entrances will have only a fence, without any walls on the sides, which the planners say adds to the neighborly feel. Everything will be included in the price of the apartments.
The new community will also be building their own 930 square meter Beit Midrash, complete with a social hall, banquet hall, and large mikvah. The Beit Midrash will be home to Torah classes, daily minyanim, a kollel, and children’s programming. The Rebbe’s son-in-law, Rabbi Yisrael Moskowitz, also promised that a yeshiva katana and yeshiva gedola would both be built. There are also plans for a building specifically for community businesses and daily needs.
At the end of the meeting, the Chassidim had the opportunity to write their questions down so that the planners could get back to them with answers as soon as possible.
By: Matthew Silkin