Emerald waters, snow-capped mountains and Chabad

by dan pine

Bay Area Jews making a weekend getaway to Lake Tahoe now have a place to make a kosher pit stop.

Chabad of Lake Tahoe recently opened on the California side of the popular resort area, a half-mile from the southern edge of the lake and not far from the “Y” — where highways 89 and 50 either meet or diverge, depending on which way you’re heading.

Rabbi Mordey Richler and his wife, Shaina, of the newly opened Chabad of Lake Tahoe

Rabbi Mordey Richler and his wife, Shaina, of the newly opened Chabad of Lake Tahoe


“It’s a beautiful place,” Rabbi Mordey Richler said of the Lake Tahoe region. “Everybody is very positive, happy, and open to learning as well. There’s no better place to learn about and discover Judaism.”

Richler and his wife, Shaina, have been offering Shabbat and holiday services, Torah study classes, a women’s circle, a kids’ club and teen program since opening the Chabad center on Aug. 15.

Additionally, the couple is offering a kosher takeout menu, preparing foods for Shabbat dinner and other holiday meals in their kitchen. Currently they are planning a public menorah lighting ceremony for Hanukkah.

Chabad of Lake Tahoe covers a wide geographical area. The nearest other Chabad centers are in Reno and Sacramento. However, two congregations are nearby, Reform Temple Bat Yam serving South Lake Tahoe and the multidenominational North Tahoe Hebrew Congregation in Tahoe Vista on the north shore.

Richler, a Long Beach native, says both locals and Bay Area–based visitors have been stopping by in the past few months. The rabbi says plans are in the works for Shabbaton ski weekends and Chabad-led hikes when the weather is nice.

Chabad of Lake Tahoe is located at 1898 Venice St. at the corner of 15th St. in South Lake Tahoe. For more information, visit http://www.jewishtahoe.com or call (530) 314-7677. — dan pine