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Chabad opens in Grass Valley 


Rabbi Nochum and Chyena Yusewitz of Crown Heights are the new Shluchim to the northern California city of Grass Valley. Grass Valley, once known as the hub of the Gold Rush in the mid 1800’s, was populated by hundreds of Jewish immigrants.

150 years later, Jewish life and observance has become limited to the minimum practices of individuals in their homes. Situated approximately an hour from the state capitol in Sacramento and between scenic mountainous areas, Grass Valley attracts many Jewish tourists throughout the year who travel through the area and its nearby cities.

The Yusewitzs will establish a Chabad Center in the city with a population of 15,000, among them hundreds of Jewish families. Beginning with High Holiday services, the Yusewitzs hope to cater to the needs of the entire community, from seniors to toddlers.

Both natives of Crown Heights, the Yusewitzs have been traveling between New York and Grass Valley for the past six months, organizing Chanukah, Purim and Pesach events and returning to New York where they each serve as educators in local schools.

The outdoor Menorah lighting, the first ever in the city, drew 175 people, many of whom were emotional at the public display of Jewish pride. For Katie, who has lived in the city for decades, the Chabad event was a long time in coming. “I’m very excited we finally have this,” she said.

150 people filled the Foothills Event Center for a Purim Party and Jewish Comedy Night. For Jamie*, who recently retired in Grass Valley, the experience of a new Chabad House starting out brings back great memories for her and her family. “Our children are grown, but they grew up in Arizona when the Chabad Rabbi started out in a garage behind his home. We all have pleasant memories of those years and have missed the experience of Chabad.”



Among the 85 participants at the Seder was a Holocaust survivor who was overjoyed to learn of Chabad. “I am so happy that you will be moving to Grass Valley soon. I am looking forward to having you both as my new special friends,” wrote Hannah*. Chabad of Grass Valley already has several reservations for the Passover Seder 2018.

The Yusewitzs have been appointed by Rabbi Shlomo Cunin, the West Coast Head Shliach, with the assistance of Rabbi Yossi Cunin. Special thanks to Rabbi Mendy Cohen, and to Rabbi and Mrs. Korik, Chabad of Roseville, for facilitating and assisting the new Shlichus. They are grateful to the Shluchim from the surrounding areas, including Rabbi and Mrs. Zaklos, for all their help.

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*names have been changed to protect privacy