Summer has come early to Puerto Rico, and in the backdrop of such balmy weather, a local businessman named Chaim found himself sitting recently around a table laden with kosher food, together with a dozen black-hatted, bearded rabbis. It was a far cry from when he first landed on the U.S. territory for business back in the winter of 1990.
“At that time, I was walking around the streets of Puerto Rico wearing a kipah or other head covering. Seeing that I was Jewish, people would approach me with questions, and I felt I needed a place to refer them to,” says the New Jersey native, who divides his time between his Teaneck home and his Puerto Rican business interests. “When I saw that I was going to be invested here in the long term, I recognized that this was a place ripe for a permanent Chabad presence.”
As the “founder” of the first Chabad center in the Caribbean and a key force behind its growth, Chaim-who requested that his full name not be published-was invited to be the lead speaker at the recent regional conference of Chabad rabbis earlier this month, which was attended by Chabad rabbis serving the Caribbean Islands, as well as two from Mexico (Cancun and Playa del Carmen) and senior Chabad officials from New York.
Read more at CHABAD.ORG.