A city famous for its food carts has inspired an immediate response to catastrophe.
In the wake of the Aug. 15 and 19 fires that destroyed the Chabad House, the Everything Jewish store and resource center is going mobile. Plans are to be on the road by Sukkot.
The store was located on the main floor of the Chabad House, and all of its merchandise was destroyed by the fires. The first fire in a third-floor office was believed to be caused by an electrical issue. Investigators are awaiting lab results to determine the cause of the second fire. The ATF (Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms) is assisting Portland Police and Fire with the investigation. ATF provides investigative support when a “house of worship” has a significant fire incident, like the second fire.
A committee of volunteers is developing a rebuilding response, but a new permanent structure could be 18 to 24 months away. In the meantime, Everything Jewish has launched a fundraiser for Everything Jewish 2.0 – a mobile store and resource center.
Northwest Food Truck Manufacturing Inc. has offered to custom build an Everything Jewish on Wheels for the dramatically reduced cost of $60,000. The company also has pledged to match half of every donation.
In 2005, Rabbi Chayim E. and Simi Mishulovin created Everything Jewish as a place to educate and engage all comers regardless of faith, background or affiliation.
Though the fires destroyed the merchandise, Rabbi Mishulovin says, “The mobile Everything Jewish will be able to carry the entire stock of love and warmth, and Yiddishkeit and connection, we had there.” He says the mobile store will also carry the basic Jewish things people need including mezuzahs and siddurs.
Simi adds, “The outpouring of love and support from the community for the vision of Everything Jewish to engage all comers will help us ensure the future is bright for our community and the world around us.”
The couple is considering several central locations as potential parking places for the mobile store.
To contribute to ensure Everything Jewish 2.0 comes to fruition, visit everythingjewishportland.com.