Jewish center dedicated in Daytona


The Florida community that hosts the Daytona 500 car race now has a $5.5 million Chabad center.


The Esformes Jewish Community Center and day school was inaugurated Sunday in a public ceremony. Chabad rabbis from around the world, U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) and philanthropist Rabbi Morris Esformes were among those who attended the opening.

Rabbi Pinchas Ezagui and his wife, Chani, held their first synagogue services and Hebrew school classes 15 years ago in the living room of their Ormond Beach home while working to turn Daytona into a flourishing Jewish community.

The Esformes Jewish Community Center includes a synagogue, 10 state-of-the-art classrooms for the day school, two commercial kitchens, mikvehs for women and men, a daily chapel and a ballroom.

Daytona is home to more than 1,800 Jewish families, according to Chabad.

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