(JNS.org) Chabad-Lubavitch has a new presence in Mississippi, meaning the Hassidic movement known for its outreach efforts around the world is now working in 49 of 50 U.S. states.
Rabbi Akiva and Hannah Hall signed a lease in the city of Biloxi for what will double as their home and a Chabad center for the Jewish community of southern Mississippi, Chabad.org reported. The only U.S. state now lacking a Chabad presence is South Dakota.
“According to the latest figures, the entire state [of Mississippi] is said to have 1,600 Jewish souls,” Rabbi Hall said. “We believe the Biloxi-Gulfport area is a most appropriate location [for the Chabad center] because it is a growing tourist area. Since Hurricane Katrina struck in 2005, the area has been rebuilt beautifully, the beaches have been revamped, and vacationers and others are coming more than ever before.”
There are also “a fair number of Jews serving on Keesler Air Force Base” in Biloxi, said Hall.