On May 19, the Jewish holiday of Lag B’Omer, the ribbon-cutting for a new rabbinical school was held in Brighton, Mass., with philanthropist Robert Kraft flanked by local rabbis, dignitaries and elected officials.

The school comes in response to the July 2021 anti-Semitic terror attack in the community, when Chabad-Lubavitch Rabbi Shlomo Noginski was stabbed eight times by gun-wielding terrorist Khaled Awad, just outside the Shaloh House day school where Noginski works.

During the attack, the rabbi fought off Awad with his bare hands. Noginski, who fled anti-Semitism in the USSR for Israel, where he lived before moving to Boston, also drew the attacker away from the steps of the school filled with children by running to a park across the street.

For years, the rabbi had a dream of establishing a rabbinical school in Boston. Days after surviving the attack, Noginski pledged to see that vision through to fruition. An opening cohort of eight rabbinical students would be educated in a new, purpose-built center—one student for each time the attacker tried to end Noginski’s life.

A fundraising campaign was launched by Rabbi Dan Rodkin, director of Shaloh House, a Chabad-affiliated school and Jewish community center in the Boston area. The effort saw people worldwide donate more than $1 million in honor of the rabbi, including prominent Boston-area Jewish philanthropist Kraft, who contributed $250,000 for the new campus.

The rabbinical school, which will be Boston’s only traditional, advanced rabbinic training program, will have a unique hands-on approach to rabbinic studies, says Noginski. In addition to the standard, text-based core curriculum, rabbinic candidates will engage in fieldwork by leading services in the community, teaching Torah classes and officiating at Jewish life-cycle events such as bar mitzvahs, weddings and funerals.

“After the horrific stabbing attack, we made it clear that we wouldn’t be scared off and would continue growing and spreading light,” Rodkin told Chabad.org. “We shared our plan to establish a program to educate and certify the next generation of rabbis; this new center is the realization of that goal as we open up a new chapter in Boston Jewish history.”

Reprinted with permission from Chabad.org./News.

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