The Chabad Center in Tallahassee, Florida, considered the hub for Chabad of Tallahassee, the Florida Panhandle and Florida State University (FSU), was destroyed late Saturday nightg in a devastating fire.
The Moris and Lillian Tabacinic Chabad Center is directed by Rabbi Schneur Z. and Chanie Oirechman, emissaries to Tallahassee for the past 23 years. The couple was out of town visiting with supporters and alumni in South Florida this weekend, and were informed about the devastating fire at 4 am, they said.
No one was injured in the fire.
The Shluchim were informed that the Chabad Center has sustained major damage, and of the loss of all their Torah scrolls, hundreds of books, and the kitchen and other facilities which have been destroyed.
The Chabad Center has served as a center for Jewish life for the last decade, and “had become a beacon of light, full of the beauty and joy of Jewish life,” Rabbi Oirechman told COLlive.
“Thousands of Jewish students and members of our community met one another at Shabbat and holiday services and meals, participated in Torah study, and witnessed acts of kindness that emanated to all areas. While that is something no fire can negate, we are now faced with the destruction not only of the building, but of our Torah scrolls, literally hundreds of books, and our kitchen and all our other facilities,” Rabbi Oirechman said.
The cause of the fire is still unknown, and is under investigation, Rabbi Oirechman said.
He said they have not been allowed into the building yet to assess the devastation.
“Chanie and I are shocked and overwhelmed by this terrible fire; fortunately, no one was injured. We are also committed to overcoming this tragedy, and with G-d’s help we will yet build a stronger and brighter future out of the ashes,” he said.
To help Chabad of Tallahassee rebuild, visit