Rabbi Ber and Esti Rosenbat, directors of Chabad of Mountain View, and their seven children.
Rabbi Ber and Esti Rosenbat, directors of Chabad of Mountain View, and their seven children.

Mountain View Chabad kicks off with Purim party

It’s easy to think of Silicon Valley as one homogenous region, but families who live there know that different cities — Sunnyvale, Santa Clara, Los Altos, Palo Alto and Cupertino, to name but a few — have their own unique character.

Each of those cities, and many others in Silicon Valley, has its own Chabad center. Until recently, Mountain View was a notable exception.

Inspired by the idea that each region, or even neighborhood, deserves a hyperlocal Jewish communal gathering place, Rabbi Ber Rosenblat and his wife, Esti, have founded a new Chabad in the city known internationally as the home of Google headquarters. The center will cater directly to Mountain View residents, who until now have either schlepped to a Chabad in a neighboring city, or never participated in one.

“People are looking for friendly, local, family styles, somewhere they can connect with people in their own community,” the rabbi said. “And that’s what we’re going for.”

The Rosenblats have been Jewish community leaders in the area since 2009, when the couple, now both 38, relocated from Crown Heights, Brooklyn, to Palo Alto to direct Camp Gan Israel of Silicon Valley in Sunnyvale. He has been program director of Palo Alto–based Chabad of Greater South Bay since 2009, and she established and has directed Gan Torah Preschool in Mountain View since 2012. They have seven children.

Officially named Chabad Jewish Center of Mountain View, the new center is kicking things off with a Purim event on March 17. Families are invited to a free barbecue and Megillah reading at the Historic Adobe Building at 157 Moffett Blvd. near downtown Mountain View. After an article in a local newspaper made mention of the event, 40 people registered within a week, Rosenblat said.

“We don’t know anybody on this list. It’s all new families that we’re just getting to know. So there’s definitely a community out there that is looking and excited for a local Jewish community,” he said.

Chabad Mountain View already runs the Gan Torah Preschool and the Yossi Children’s Library, but the Purim celebration will mark its first event as a new organization. The Rosenblats currently are looking for a building to rent to host prayer services, a Hebrew school, Shabbat dinners, holiday programs and community events. All programming is nondenominational.

“We have some ideas on the table, but we’re still looking to find the right place,” Rosenblat said. “As soon as we have an address, we’ll start doing programs there and inviting people over. But at the moment, we’re still in Palo Alto.”

For information about the center or to sign up for the mailing list, call (650) 332-9062, send an email to [email protected] or visit mvchabad.com. You can use the same channels to sign up for the March 17 Purim event, which begins with a Megillah reading at 5 p.m., followed by dinner and kid-friendly activities at 5:30 p.m.

Emma Goss
Emma Goss

Emma Goss is a J. staff writer. She is a Bay Area native and an alum of Gideon Hausner Jewish Day School and Kehillah Jewish High School. Emma also reports for KTVU Fox 2 News. Follow her on Twitter @EmmaAudreyGoss.