A new $3.5 million construction project at Chabad Lubavitch of Idaho in Boise will include the state’s first Jewish ritual bath, also known as a mikvah, reported the local KTVB 7 news.
“This is a tremendous milestone that we are here today to celebrate the groundbreaking of the new Chabad Jewish Center,” said Rabbi Mendel Lifshitz at a ceremony on Wednesday.
The center opened in 2004. The Jewish population in Idaho is about 0.1 percent of the state’s total population of 1.754 million, in 2020, according to the U.S. Census.
“When we [first] moved to Boise, it had a small Jewish community. It still is a very small community, but it did not have any traditional representation within the Jewish community,” said Lifshitz, who co-directs the center with his wife, Esther. “During the pandemic, our community has grown tremendously, and we are now looking at being able to provide more services.”
Boise Mayor Lauren McLean spoke at the groundbreaking ceremony and said the announcement of the new Chabad center “more than symbolizes the importance of community, the importance of coming together around the importance of shared values, the importance of having a place.”
The new Chabad Jewish Center will also have a children’s library to honor a community member who passed away six years ago, according to KTVB 7.