Beekman Newsletter


Experiencing Chabad in Sutton Place

by Peter Schulman

The Soul

It is well known that

Chabad emissaries courageously

leave their comfort

zones in Brooklyn’s

Crown Heights to spread

Judaism and Chassidic

thought throughout the

world. Chabad houses can be found in faraway

places such as Cambodia and China, or

pioneering destinations in remote areas of

Nebraska or Saskatoon.

Yet, sometimes starting a Chabad House

close to home in certain parts of Manhattan

can be just as challenging and obstacle-laden,

as well. I remember my mother OBM telling

me once that she had championed Rabbi and

Rebbetzin Metzger at a SAC meeting she attended,

without ever having met them, when

she heard there was some early resistance

to their opening up a new Chabad on Sutton


Many were suspicious, others trepidatious.

None of this discouraged the Metzgers in any

way and when they organized the first Menorah

lighting at Sutton Place Park several years

ago (under the watchful eye of 1 Sutton Place,

which at one point in the 1950’s didn’t even

let Jews buy apartments in their building),

so many joyous Jews came out to eat latkes

despite frigid temperatures. It was the first

time, they said, in so many years that they

could experience such a beautiful communal

Jewish event in public in the neighborhood.

Now, with such pride in our community, I

see all the amazing things the Metzgers do

on a daily basis to spread the warmth of Yid-

dishkeit throughout all corners of Beekman-

Sutton. What they have built from scratch has

been so beautiful: a pre-school, a shul with

services and Kiddush on Saturdays and holidays,

Torah and Tanya classes, Bagels, Lox

and Tefilin on Sundays, and most importantly,

a warm Shabbos table to go to on Friday


It moves me to see that the light that the

Metzgers so daringly lit several Chanukahs

ago is shining ever so brightly thanks to their

incredibly contagious enthusiasm, warmth,

energy and devotion to fellow Jews near & far.

“I have seen people radiate with spirituality

after experiencing a Shabbos at Chabad of

Beekman, some for the first time."

I have seen people radiate with spirituality

after experiencing a Shabbos at Chabad of

Beekman, some for the first time in fact, or

others who return after a long hiatus from

observance. Judaism is alive and well on 53rd

street but most importantly in the hearts of

so many thanks to my friends the Metzgers

who never cease to inspire me with their

good cheer through thick and thin - regardless

of what adversity there might be in the

world around us at any given time.

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