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Chabad of Uptown and personal diary updates! Please comment on our posts, we would love to hear from you!

Getting Ready to Dance?

HEADS UP! Three days of celebration are ahead of us beginning with tomorrow, Wednesday night. All services are simlar to Shabbos in style, 7 pm in the evenings and 10 am in the mornings. Check out the complete schedule below!

A magical night in the Sukkah under the stars was had with great food and company! We all heard a moving story from Chanie's father and continued the inspiration throughout the weekend.

kassoff facebook status galperin.jpg

CHABAD.ORG/NEWS - Trading Spaces: Neat Nooks Just for the Holidays

Rabbis get functional when accommodating larger numbers of worshippers [...] In Uptown Houston, a tony area in Texas known for high-end retail shops and trendy boutiques, Rabbi Chaim and Chanie Lazaroff hold services in the posh Hilton Houston Post Oak Hotel, in the exclusive Galleria area. more...


We look forward to a celebratory Simchas Torah weekend!

Sponsorship of the kiddushim in part by Ben & Regina Shamooelian. You can sponsor too :)


For all of you that joined us last year, you know the drill. Get ready to celebrate Chabad-style! Come join us for an unbelievable, all night, happy, thrilling, stress-relieving, dance-til-you-drop, beyond belief and total excitement, feast-on-amazing-foods, l'chaims and fun for all Simchat Torah Party!

MAIN HAKAFOT THURSDAY, SEPT. 25 (- see entire schedule below) 
7:00 PM Services 
8:00 PM Buffet Dinner and Warm-Up L'chaim’s and The Dancing Begins till... 

On Simchat Torah we will celebrate starting over the Torah with a massively awesome party and dance-a-thon. It doesn't matter if you're not religious, it doesn't matter if you're only Jew-"ish". At Chabad everyone's welcome because the only thing that matters is your willingness to celebrate!

Join event on Facebook 

Shmeni Atzeret / Simchat Torah / Shabbos Bereishis Schedule

Wed., Sept. 25 - Shemini Atzeret 
Make Eruv Tavshilin 
- 6:56 pm Light Holiday Candles 
- 7:00 pm Mincha & Evening Services 
Hakafot-celebratory dancing 
This one is only the warm up - to connect with Israel! (See main hakafot below).

Thurs., Sept. 26 - 
Shemini Atzeret & Simchat Torah 
- 10:00 am Morning Services 
- 12:15 pm Yizkor 
Teffilas Geshem 
- Say Goodbye to Sukkah
- 7:00 pm Mincha & Evening Services Grand Hakafot-celebratory dancing - This one is the real deal! 
After 7:51 pm Light Candles 
Facebook Event > 

Fri., Sept. 27 -Simchat Torah 
- 10:00 am Morning Services 
Hakafot-celebratory dancing 
Mincha after Hakafot 
- 7:30 pm Shabbat Evening Services

Sat., Sept. 28 -Shabbat Bereishit 
- 10:00 am Morning Services 
- 7:00 pm Mincha 
- 7:48 pm Maariv, Havdalla and Shabbat Ends 
Living Torah Video

Good Yom Tov!

Rabbi Chaim & Chanie


#SukkahWars #Joy

Thank you to the over 200 community members that joined us over the holiday making it an inspirational and uplifting experience! Thank you to our staff Chazzan Daniel Gavin, our Rabbinic Interns Mendel Greenberg & Mendel Galperin and Sara Galperin. Major thumbs up to all the community members who helped setup and breakdown!

At our Yom Kippur appeal, Allison made a heartfelt plea to get involved in our building campaign. YouJoin our Building Expansion Campaign!should have received our brochure with all the information. You can read more about it and participate at to help us reach our $400,000 goal! Track our campaign thermometer on the right side of our website.

Wondering what a menorah has to do with Yom Kippur? Beautiful front page article in the Houston Chronicle appeared last Friday, Erev Yom Kippur. Check it out here.

From the mailbag:

  • The words of wisdom you give us, don't just stay in the room that night or day. I told my family at Break fast all about your sermon...we talked for a good while about it. Thank you and Chanie and Danny Gavin for a beautiful service. - B.K.
  • Fantastic, insightful and inspirational Shabbos and Yontiff spent w/ the amazing Lazaroff family and crew. THANK YOU SO MUCH! - T.L.
  • Thanks a lot for the Yom Kippur prayer. Was great as usual! - O.S.
  • Wonderful high holidays, enjoyed all, next year in Jerusalem! - M.P.

We are excited to welcome Chanie's parents, Rabbi Schleima & Shifra Galperin, who will join us for Sukkos & Simchas Torah. Read our personal Sukkos story behind our story in last week's Jewish Herald Voice.

FACEBOOK STATUS: CORRECTION!! The Community Sukkot Dinner Under the Stars will be in the largest sukkah in UPTOWN standing proudly @Chabad of Uptown at 600 sq ft! For the largest Sukkah in TOWN you will need to head over to my dear brother Rabbi Lazer Lazaroff for the Sukkot Dinner Under the Stars with a whopping total of 960 sq ft of Sukkah at Aishel House!!! #sukkahwars #familylove

You may still RSVP! We have a couple of seats left, at

Thank you to Moshe Melnik, Michael Pasternak and Chaim Kamman for their sukkah schach decking assistance!

Sukkos First Days Schedule

Wed., Sept. 18 
Make Eruv Tavshilin 
- 7:04 pm Light Holiday Candles 
- 7:00 pm Mincha & Evening Services 
- 8:00 pm Sukkot Holiday Community Dinner - Under the Stars! - RSVP 
Join this event on Facebook!

Thurs., Sept. 19 
- 10:00 am Morning Services 
- Kiddush following services
- Lulav & Etrog Available for public use 
- 7:00 pm Mincha & Evening Services (Maariv) 
After 8:00 pm Light Holiday Candles 

Fri., Sept. 20 
- 10:00 am Morning Services 
- Kiddush following services sponsored by Chaim & Dorit Kamman in honor of the birthday of their daughter, Ella
- Lulav & Etrog available for public use 
- 7:02 pm Light Shabbat Candles 
- 7:00 pm Evening Services 

Sat. Sept. 21 
- 10:00 am Morning Services 
- No Lulav 
- 7:00 pm Mincha 
- 7:57 pm Maariv, Havdalla (In Sukkah) and Shabbat Ends 
Living Torah Video

Sunday - No Teffilin

Complete Last Days & Simchas Torah Schedule >

We look forward to a holiday filled with!

Rabbi Chaim & Chanie

Wrong turn leads to connection with Jewish roots

Photo Credit: Eric Kayne

Ben Hadden, in front of Chabad Uptown, is the son of an Episcopalian father and a Jewish mother who converted to Southern Baptist.

By Jayme Fraser

Houston Chronicle, September 13, 2013,  Front Page City & State

That must be something Jewish, Ben Hadden thought, recognizing the five-foot-tall golden menorah in front of the brick building from childhood holidays at his grandmother's house.

The Jewish worship center had been at Hadden's back each time he turned down Bettis Drive near the end of his running route, so he never saw it. Tired that day last fall, he ran one block too far, bringing him past Chabad of Uptown.


Hadden, who grew up with little exposure to his Jewish heritage, thought about the menorah as he neared his house.

"I've been wanting to connect for a while now," he thought. "Here's something right around the corner from my place."

A year later, Hadden is preparing for Saturday, when he will attend his first service for Yom Kippur, or the Day of Atonement. It is the holiest day of the Jewish calendar, marking an end to the Days of Awe that began last week with celebrations of Rosh Hashana, the new year. Jews typically reserve these 10 days for reflecting on the year's sins and joys, seeking forgiveness for mistakes and planning for "a good and sweet" year. It is a time for Teshuvah, returning to God and beginning anew.

Hadden, wearing a crumpled blue plaid shirt, took a break from his work as a University of Houston graduate student in social psychology to look back on the first year he dedicated to learning his faith. Smiling, he leaned against the table.

"I kind of stumble into things a lot," Hadden, 25, said.

Parents' faith

His father was Episcopalian. His Jewish mother became a Southern Baptist. Their Connecticut home, and later the Hillel chapter at the University of Delaware run by lifelong faithful, were not easy places to explore an interest in his heritage.

Hadden recognized the menorah outside Chabad of Uptown because of casual holiday dinners with his grandmother. She did not attend services regularly, or teach him many details of the holidays. Shortly after he moved to Houston in 2011, his grandmother mailed him honey and an apple, a traditional Rosh Hashana treat.

The night after he made a wrong turn on his run, Hadden found a website for Chabad of Uptown and emailed Rabbi Chaim Lazaroff.

"I am looking for a place that would be a good fit for someone in my position - specifically someone who does not know Hebrew and is relatively unversed in Jewish traditions," he wrote.

Chabad of Uptown is part of a Hasidic movement that focuses on outreach, an intellectual approach to the faith and Orthodox traditions. The worship center near the Galleria puts an emphasis on networking between young professionals.

"The best thing would be to meet personally and go from there," Lazaroff wrote back the next morning. "When would you like to meet?"

That evening, they sat on couches in the room behind the downstairs synagogue.

Least-observant age

Lazaroff said he meets many Jewish young adults like Hadden. Numerous national surveys have noted the age group is among the least observant.

Chabad of Uptown programs hope to create a connection before it becomes too comfortable to be "Jew-ish" rather than Jewish.

First Rosh Hashana

"Most people don't change much in that way once they pass the 30-year mark," Lazaroff said.

Hadden started attending Wednesday dinners and occasional Friday night services with about a dozen others. Lazaroff's first lessons prepared them for the approaching High Holy Days.

Hadden said he felt overwhelmed by the nearly 100 people at his first Rosh Hashana service last year, but enjoyed learning the meaning behind eating "new fruits" - often pomegranates - that are coming into season, and sought out traditions he recognized, such as apples and honey.

"Now, I understand more about what's going on," Hadden said, listing other firsts: celebrating a belated bar mitzvah with a "Star Wars" and "Doctor Who" theme; wrapping his arm and head with the tefillin, a strap connecting two black leather boxes that contain Torah verses; and practicing enough Hebrew to read from the haftarah, religious texts that follow the Torah.

Friday night he begins his first Yom Kippur fast.

"I continue to seek out new things this year," he said. "New ways I can connect."


The Fastest Fast

Dear Friends and Family,

Our children join us in wishing you and your family a Shana Tova Umetuka, may it be a Sweet Good New Year.

May Hashem answer your prayers favorably for blessings of Health, Happiness, Success and Fulfillment of Purpose in the most literal sense, for you and all your loved ones.

More importantly, may we all be blessed with a conscious awareness of the divine blessings already present in our lives, with the strength of character to realize the potential they bring, and the generosity of spirit to share them with those around us.

Most importantly, may this New Year finally bring an end to the pain and suffering of the innocent children of the world, peace to the Holy Land and all the lands of the world, with the coming of our righteous Moshiach.

Rabbi Chaim & Chanie

And now, a word from our sponsors:

  • Rosh Hashana was an absolute inspiration! The exquisite Hilton accommodations, gourmet dinners and luncheons by Benny Katz shared with overflowing crowds and a wonderful community! Thank you for making 5774 so wonderful.
  • We look forward to another wonderful and uplifting Yom Kippur weekend at the Hilton Post Oak for the Fastest Fast! You may still reserve seats and RSVP for the break fast sponsored in part by Seth & Rivka Weisberg at
    It is not too late to join the Yizkor Book. You may add to the growing list of names to include the names of your loved ones in the special community Yizkor book at
    Complete Yom Kippur guide with all the customs and instructions on our website, here
  • Next week, join us on Wednesday night, Sept. 18 for our annual Sukkot Dinner Under the Stars in our giant Sukkah! See the moving story behind our story hereClick here for more and to RSVP. The complete Sukkot and Simchat Torah Schedule is here.
  • Our building campaign is shaping up! We are over half way there, so, please consider participating with your gift so we may reach our $400,000 goal!

A look ahead:

Yom Kippur 
Friday, Sept. 13 
Fast Begins & Light candles at: 7:11 pm 
Kol Nidrei: 7:15 pm 
Childrens' Program: 7:15-8:15 pm 

Shabbos, Sept. 14 
Morning Services: 9:30 am 
Childrens' Program: 11 am - 1:30 pm 
- Yizkor: approx. 12:30 pm - Include names in the Yizkor Book 
Mincha Service: 5:15 pm 
Neilah Service: 6:30 pm 
Havdalla & Fast Ends: 8:06 pm 

Sunday, September 15

Shacharis at 8:30 am
BLT = Bagels, Lox & Tefillin at 9 am

Sukkot & Simchat Torah Schedule >

Have a good Shabbos, meaningful Yom Kippur and an easy fast!

Gmar Chasima Tova,

Rabbi Chaim & Chanie

Follow us on FacebookTwitter & YouTube @youngchabad!

Sukkot Under the Stars: A Family Celebration with a History

Jewish Herald Voice, Pg. 12
By Menachem Posner

The year was 1927. The place was Simferopol, southern Ukraine, then part of the USSR.  Rabbi Peretz Mochkin was a marked man. As a devoted follower of Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Schneersohn, the 6th Lubavitcher Rebbe, active in the Chabad’s underground network of Jewish institutions, he lived his days in constant fear of the secret police and their proxies.

Just before the joyous holiday of Sukkot, Peretz fell ill with typhus and felt that his days were numbered. Suddenly, there was a knock at the door. His old friend Yankel, rabbi from the town of Zhuravitz, had made the 1,200-kilometer journey to visit and bring the Mochkin family some much-needed holiday cheer. Peretz’s daughter, Mrs. Guta Schapiro, would later recall to her grandchildren that “the sukkah was very small and very poorly built—we did not want the KGB to know about it—and Rabbi Yankel was a large man, so when he sat in the sukkah with my father, there was no room for anyone else.”

The men began singing “A sukaleh a kleinier,” a yiddish folk song about a Jewish family in a rickety sukkah. As winds howl outside, the father in the song reassures his family that the holiday candles will not blow out and the sukkah will remain standing. As the two men sat and sang, and the makeshift sukkah swayed back and forth with their every movement, and the children were knew in their hearts that no one—not even Stalin—would extinguish the flame of Judaism.

Peretz eventually recovered and escaped the Soviet Union in 1947. By then, Yankel had been arrested in 1937 by the KGB and shot for his “counterrevolutionary” activities.

By a twist of Divine humor, Yankel’s great-granddaughter, Chanie Galperin, married Peretz’s great-grandson, Chaim Lazaroff. The Russian communists are long gone, but Peretz and Yankel's lineage is going strong.

Nearly 90 years later, Rabbi Chaim and Chanie Lazaroff, co-directors of Chabad of Uptown have made it a tradition to host 100 people in their gargantuan sukkah every year on the first night of Sukkot as a tribute to their forbears and the triumph of the Jewish spirit.

“It’s a beautiful evening of singing, lots of delicious food, and a heart-warming celebration of unity, with so many Jews packed into one sukkah together,” says Rabbi Chaim Lazaroff.

This year, the first night of Sukkot is on September 18. Prayer services begin at 7:00 pm, followed by dinner at 8:00. Reservations can be made online at

09-12-2013 Sukkot Under the Stars.jpg Rabbi Schleima Galperin, grandson of R' Yankel of Zhuravitz and father of Chanie Lazaroff, gives a moving talk in October, 2012, of his experiences when living in Communist Russia. Among his many anecdotes he shared, "In the 22 years I lived in Russia, I was never in a shul, rather davening with the "underground". Even as I was leaving Russia, I toured the palaces and the grand shul in Leningrad / S. Petersburg, an undercover KGB agent greeted me there. He wanted to know who I was and where I was from. I told him - A Yid".

Yizkor Book Deadline

Yizkor services for Yom Kippur will be held on September 14, 2013. Complete schedule hereFor more about Yizkor, please click here.

This year, in honor of Yom Kippur, we are putting together a listing of all the names of loved ones to be remembered during Yizkor at Chabad of Uptown. Having all these names compiled in one booklet, as is customary in many communities, brings everyone together as one family and brings an added measure of dignity and merit to the souls of our loved ones.  These names will be read aloud as part of the Yizkor Service. 

Please fill in the names of your departed loved ones by clicking here. A contribution of $18 per name is requested.

There is also an option to dedicate a plaque or be a sponsor of our future Memorial Board in the future shul as part of our Chabad of Uptown expansion.

Best wishes for an easy fast and a meaningful Yom Kippur.  

Rabbi Chaim & Chanie 
Chabad of Uptown 

Yizkor Book Deadline: Thursday, September 12, 5 pm 



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