Local Jewish group will observe the holidays in homes and hotels


Posted: Saturday, September 7, 2013 12:30 am | Updated: 8:43 am, Sun Sep 8, 2013.

While it’s no surprise to see a young church meeting in a house, school, even occasionally under a tent, most Jewish congregations — as well as the vast majority of churches — have chosen to build sanctuaries.

But one local Jewish group will be meeting in homes and hotels for the foreseeable future, including next week’s High Holy Days, the most sacred time in the Jewish religious calendar.

League City Rabbi Yitzi Schmukler will bring his shofar (ram’s horn) and Torah scroll to this year’s Bay Area High Holiday Services and Dinner at Webster’s Hilton Garden Inn, 750 W. Texas Ave., on Sept. 13-14. For specific times, call 713-398-2460 or visit

“Our services will once again be free of charge by Chabad of the Bay Area,” he said. “These easy-to-follow services are held in a friendly and welcoming atmosphere and are interspersed with meaningful explanations and beautiful tunes.”

Schmukler is a Hassidic Jew, born in Canada and educated in the U.S. and Israel. His is part of the distinctive, Chabad outreach movement.

His goal is to fulfill what he sees as an ongoing need.

“There’s nothing like getting involved in something real that affects peoples’ lives,” he said. “My experience is that what we do resonates with everyone who experiences it — reformed, conservative, unaffiliated or even non-Jews.

Photo setting table“It’s rich, meaningful, soulful and very thought-provoking. Jewish people will especially feel this, but we welcome everyone, including the unattached,” he said.

The word “Chabad” is an acronym in Hebrew, meaning wisdom, understanding and knowledge.

The group focuses on pursuing a deeper understanding and relationship to God, Schmukler said. Though many religious traditions are exclusivist, Chabad is open to all.

One of its cornerstone philosophies is the unwavering acceptance of every single person and believing that every person has a mission to fulfill,” he said.

His group holds classes throughout the year on various topics including the Torah, Talmud and Kabbalah, as well as special holiday events such as Hanukkah on The Strand.

The locations vary from Pearland to Clear Lake to Galveston.

The county’s established synagogues and temples will join with Jewish believers worldwide in observing the High Holy Days. At least one will also meet in rented facilities since their existing auditoriums can no longer accommodate all the faithful at one time.